You are the music while the music lasts. ~ T.S. Eliot
Listening to music when writing is the one thing I have to do. There really is not choice in the matter. Sitting in a quiet room with only the whir of my computer fans and the breath from my lungs does nothing for me.
But if you change that, sitting in a quiet room, the sounds of percussion, horns, strings and woodwinds, then you have me at sounds.
Every artist I have ever met, whether they are a visual artist, performance or literary artist uses music when they are performing. Take my wife as an example. She is a painter and she listens to music through her iPhone when she is using her brush or pencil.
When I am writing music is a must. I have to breathe life into my characters through the sounds in my headphones–I have kids–and they must have force and make my hands move to a certain rhythm to get anything written.
If music be the food of love, play on. ~ William Shakespeare
When I write the music has to fit what I am writing. For some genres I can have lyrics. The type of music must come from a place that I can see the characters either listening to or see their action in the scenes. If I can’t see the action in my head it will look horrible on the page.
I have created playlists for books only to listen to something else because the playlist does not give me the feeling I need to write. Music has to move me, it has to reach in my soul and pluck the strings. The notes must come from within me, just as the words come from within me.
Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. ~ Plato
Perfection in writing is one of those things we dream about but rarely comes even in a fifth draft. Finding the right music for your story is important. I have searched through Pandora for twenty minutes looking for the right music only to hit random on iTunes and find what I was looking for.
The right music hits you in your soul, that part of writing where imagination and the project are created. The right music can breathe life into a project or extinguish it.
I know there are artists who don’t use music. I am not one of them. Music makes me fly, it truly plucks the strings of my soul and puts the words on the page as much as my hands hitting the keys.