The Music of Our Words

14 Jul


What do you listen to when you write? Do you listen to music? Or to white noise? The sea or windchimes or birdsong? Or to nothing at all?

This morning mine is Tartanic ( and Cast in Bronze (

Have you ever thought of changing up what you listen to? How would it change your writing? The tempo? The message?

This morning I’ve been playing around with music and creating my own mix to listen to over the next few weeks, and I’ve found that I can create in myself differnt moods even within my writing that kind of go along with what I’m listening to. I know it plays a role in how the words flow and how I lose myself in the writing, but I hadn’t realized that I can influence myself with what I’m listening to.

I’ve started taking one minute videos every (okay, almost every) day of something that strikes me. Some mornings it is the birds at sunrise, sometimes the cicadas at sunset. Others a moment caught when I’m out doing something with my family. I have my phone with me always and I capture moments in time that I think maybe I would like to be able to call back to mind easily later. I use these videos much like music on my iPod or on YouTube, to call a certain mood or frame of mind back to now.

How do you use the tools that you have at hand? How could you? I know in my life, I’m busy enough that I may not take the time at any given moment to capture the words that I maybe could capture but I capture a few words (sometimes on audio on my phone, sometimes as a note, sometimes just as a picture stolen in a second) and call back the memory later, when I have just a little more time.

There are shortcuts and tools all around us, what music can you capture today? Β How can you make your words dance?


21 Responses to “The Music of Our Words”

  1. thelostkerryman July 18, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Good insight. I find that instrumental music is much more useful, unless I am editing, or have a poem in my head.

    • alicorndreams July 19, 2013 at 12:20 am #

      I love writing poems to white noise. zen music with wind chimes… ocean… rain.

  2. Lorna's Voice July 16, 2013 at 2:58 am #

    With the dizziness going on in my brain at all times, I have to have complete silence when I write. Any music or talking distracts me. Needless to say, writing is a challenge…

    • alicorndreams July 16, 2013 at 7:05 am #

      I get that way, frequently. And then writing is a challenge. And at those times, I end up writing on my phone.

    • hilarycustancegreen July 18, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

      I love music (mostly, but not exclusively, opera and classical), but I cannot write and listen at the same time – except when I am in the early creative phases of a book. So in January I started on a new novel and happened to be listening to Edith Piaf’s Milord. It has changed the whole course of the story-to-be and is now the theme song of the book.

    • alicorndreams July 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

      πŸ™‚ I love the idea of a book having a theme song… I’m going to have to think that one through and run with it…
      πŸ™‚ thank you!

    • Lorna's Voice July 19, 2013 at 2:13 am #

      Yes, brilliant! You don’t have to wait for your book to become a movie–you already have a theme song! πŸ™‚

    • alicorndreams July 21, 2013 at 3:54 am #


    • nesherehrman July 18, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

      A theme song. For a book.
      That. Is. Brilliant.

    • Lorna's Voice July 19, 2013 at 2:12 am #

      I can be brilliant if I really try… πŸ˜‰

  3. teasbook July 15, 2013 at 3:56 am #

    I meant to type Wii. It looks like World War II or something! Hahahaha! πŸ™‚

  4. teasbook July 15, 2013 at 3:55 am #

    If I listen to music while writing, it’s usually piano or soft jazz. But I preferably enjoy listening to the sound of a crackling fireplace. Unfortunately I don’t have a fireplace except for the virtual one on the WII. Hahahahaha! πŸ˜€ However, I do my best writing during rainstorms! Love it! That is, when the dogs are too scared. πŸ˜‰

    • alicorndreams July 15, 2013 at 4:01 am #

      πŸ™‚ I love a fireplace too. But I live where there are like three fireplace days a year… so I downloaded one on my computer, one on my iPad, and snagged a long one for my iPod from YouTube. I have Rain, too (my son has me hooked on that too… rain sound).

      I’ve discovered an awesome set of apps on Windows 8 (it’s biggest redeeming feature) that lets me download LONG YouTube videos and convert them to mp3 format…. so I can play back a fireplace even on a 90 degree day out under the trees!

  5. Heather Marshall July 14, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    I have Pandora station that I listen to when I am writing first drafts, early in the morning, mostly music with no lyrics so that I don’t get distracted by lyrics. Editing music tends to be more upbeat, sometimes chosen to go along with the tone of the work I’m editing.

    • alicorndreams July 15, 2013 at 1:22 am #

      B) I can do lyrics at work, I can’t do lyric so much when I’m writing… depending on what I’m writing… I end up writing the lyrics in with what I think I’m writing. It tends to confuse me later when I can’t figure out what I thought I was thinking!

  6. karmicangel July 14, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Interestingly, I find listening to my favourite movie soundtracks often helps me… so when I was writing a scene about a spy for example a few months ago, I dug up the soundtrack to ‘Spy Game’ (a much better soundtrack than movie btw) and it really got the juices flowing. I am currently writing a fast-paced scene wherein my heroine needs to rescue someone, so I was listening to ‘Run, Lola, Run’ yesterday and am looking for something for this morning.

    • alicorndreams July 15, 2013 at 1:19 am #

      πŸ™‚ So I’m not the only one who takes queues from what I hear! Good luck on your quest!

  7. cricketmuse July 14, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    My neighbor is a professional musician and he said he has been recording sounds on his piano like the Amtrak horn is in the C range, a happy tone, compared to the freight trains lower, angrier tones. He’s composing a song working in all these different sounds of our town. Music is all around us in so many forms!

    • alicorndreams July 15, 2013 at 1:18 am #

      πŸ™‚ I know. And I’m determined to capture the feeling of it in words. As much of it as I possibly can!

  8. MuseWriter July 14, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    I have found myself listening to post-rock instrumentals lately. God is an Astronaut and Explosions in the Sky are a couple of my favorites πŸ™‚

    • alicorndreams July 15, 2013 at 1:17 am #

      πŸ™‚ I haven’t heard of those. My son has be listening to Owl City but that’s as close as I’ve actually gotten to pop in years. I’m going to have to hunt! πŸ™‚ thank you!

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