I keep saying how I don’t write to music. But I’m starting to realize that’s not entirely true. It’s true in the sense that I prefer quiet when I’ve got my hands on the keyboard… most of the time. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that music plays a big part in my creative world.
Music for Walking
I’ve mentioned before that I go out walking almost every day for about an hour. I do it in part for the exercise, and in part to process the story-happenings in my mind. It’ll sometimes help me untangle problems, come up with new ideas, and review the day’s work as a means of mentally winding down. And for most of these walks, I’ll be listening to music.
Turns out that Spotify is my bestest friend when out walking. It’s introduced me to music I probably wouldn’t have otherwise heard. Some of the music it throws at me is rubbish and must be skipped immediately. But sometimes it throws me a song that slots into my mind and whatever story or problem I’m thinking about, and sometimes it helps me fix it.
Hazel and Holly Problem Solving
So, I’ve not mentioned this yet… but I’ve finished the first draft of Hazel and Holly. I pressed on and got it done around Oct. last year. But (and this is why I haven’t mentioned it) it’s really rough. Perhaps not surprisingly, the longer Hazel and Holly went on, the more I struggled with the chapters. This struggle was really just me trying find solutions to all the problems that had been developing throughout. It’s fun and easy to create problems in a story—it’s a different matter entirely in finding solutions for them and to wrap everything up in a satisfactory way.
And so, every day I’d pull out my teeth and bleed through my pores. Then I’d go out walking. And Spotify was like, “I’ve got your back,” and it threw me this song. And while listening to the song, I’d get one little idea. And that would help me through the next day. And then the whole cycle would continue. I’m not exaggerating when I say I put this song on a loop and listened to it for an hour straight while walking, every day, for I’m not sure how long. Until I was done with the climax. A week or two.
Tree and Tower Problem Solving
Hey, remember when I was writing a (probably) trilogy of novels called the Tree and Tower Series? Yeah, I’m still working on the third and (probably) final book, though it’s been put on the back burner for the moment while I focus on getting Hazel and Holly done.
Well, before Hazel and Holly elbowed their way in (that’s so like them…), I was struggling with a different set of problems in the third book. And, when I return to it, I imagine the struggling will resume. Though, honestly, some of the problems aren’t all that different. To me, this really is feeling like it will be the final book in the series, and so I’m faced with making sure everything is tied off and satisfactory, which, again, isn’t easy.
Like with Hazel and Holly, I came across a song while out walking that, when put on a loop, helped me untangle some snags. I didn’t listen to it as much as the other one, because it was a smaller snag. But it instantly became a favorite of mine. Plus, the video is awesome. I think it’s fan-made, and meant for the original non-acoustic version of the song, but it works for the acoustic version as well (which is the version I listened to and still prefer).
I’m struggling with this third book though in a way that I’ve not struggled with the others. I think part of the problem is that Siyan has gotten herself into quite a pickle, and I don’t know how she’s going to fix it. They say this is a good thing, because the reader won’t know either, and that’s what will keep them reading. Meanwhile, I need to somehow figure out the solution. So… yeah.
And this leads us to one of the unheard of moments of me actually writing to music. As in, hands on keyboard while music is playing. But for some reason, I found this song helpful when trying to write past a difficult, yet pivotal, point in the story. It’s also by Kwoon, the same artist as the previous song. I think they might become my unofficial Tree and Tower mascot-band. Is that a thing? Well, it is now.
The Forgotten Web Editing Woes
Speaking of unofficial mascot-bands, The Forgotten Web has got one of its own. It was when I was in the editing phase and feeling particularly petulant about the whole thing. Then, lo, Stoa enters my life, and somehow they made editing Web fun.
I could go on, but I should stop before the post gets too unwieldy (if it hasn’t already). But yeah, maybe it’s time I start accepting that I do write to music, just not entirely in the traditional sense.
What about you? Does music help you out creatively? Does it also transport you places?