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A Life Less Musical

Friday, March 11, 2005
Hmm. Perhaps the title isn't completely accurate. I love music. I sing. I sing in public, I sing in the shower, I sing in the car, I sing walking through parking lots, I sing in the grocery store along with the Muzak. I sing classics, I sing folk songs, I sing hymns, I sing country, I sing pop. Heck. I even rap. Ok, so it's the Naked Mole Rap from the Kim Possible soundtrack.

Certain things I do require a soundtrack. Driving, for instance. I get in the driver's seat and turn on the radio or a CD or turn it off and sing. Different actions have their unique subsets of actions. Washing dishes means it's time to call someone. Taking a shower means that I take a storyline I'm working with and extend it, mold it, act it out.

But music and writing? Nuh-uh. No way. I've tried it and ended up with more headaches than I can count. Loads and loads of my writing friends say that listening to music when they write "puts them in the mood." Some even go so far as to manufacture soundtracks for different mss. edit: I should mention that the inspiration for this blog came from Julie's latest article on Romancing the Blog. And that, unbeknownst to either of us, Vanessa Jaye posted her own thoughts on music and writing here. Great minds don't always think alike. ;-)

I've wondered why I don't/can't do this and have finally come up with a reason.

I love music.

I consider it a work of art to be taken on its own merit. To be lived with fully in the moment. Music pulls me in, absorbs me in the same utterly present way that writing does. And since, as the poet wrote, "I could not travel both [roads] and be one traveler," music is worthy of concentration as full as that which I use to write.

We all know that each of us takes our own path when we write. The world would be a poorer place if we didn't, I'm sure. And so for me, the writing road is, must be, lyrics without a tune, for the music is its own road.
3/11/2005 08:31:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 8 Comments


I can't write to music, either,
Sela. And your reason makes a lot of sense to me (though I try hard not to sing in public so as not to scare anyone). Not that I don't often find inspiration in songs, just don't put it on while I'm trying to write.

The TV, on the other hand....

By Blogger Tricia Fields, at 9:41 PM  

Yes, I can't write to music either. Making your soundtrack for your wip always strikes me as a procrastination exercise.

There again it is whatever works for you and gives you inspiration.

My muse tends to like blank walls and silence.


By Blogger Michelle Styles, at 3:47 AM  

I need music to write. *bg* But not just any song. Oh no! I need the "right" song to do so. For example, recently for a specific scene, for some reason a Bob Seger song popped into my mind. Next thing I know, I'm playing the song on CD while typing. Ideas flowed like a river.

By Blogger Silma, at 10:03 AM  

oh this is so funny, Sela. I just, this morning (Sat Mar12), wrote a blog on how music helps me write. gg. Didn't read your blog first, though, or I would have made link. Think I'll go and do that now. ;-)

By Blogger Jaye, at 5:57 PM  

I use some singers to put me in the right mood for writing.
Especially if it's a sexy scene.
love the blog!
Nell xx

By Blogger Nell Dixon, at 3:56 PM  

Hi, Sela!
I also often plot in the shower. Strange, I don't use music to write, but often certain scenes flash in my mind when I listen to my fav CD's in the car.
Great blog, btw! If you have a free minute, stop by mine http://olga-lita.bravejournal.com/. I'd love if you left a comment and/or pinned my map! And if you'd like to swap links, I'd be jumping from joy!
Fellow Gonna-Bee Olga-Lita.

By Anonymous Olga-Lita, at 5:04 PM  

Sela, it's me again. Just wanted to tell thank you for stopping by and leaving a wonderful comment. And I agree with your 100%!

By Anonymous Olga, at 6:53 PM  

I love music. I love to feel it. The power behind it. It moves me. Sometimes I can only write with music and sometimes I can't write unless I have total silence. But I always, whether writing or not, appreciate the talent that makes each song special and unique.

By Anonymous Sheri Haynes, at 8:56 PM  

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