When I embark on a new writing project, I like to select a couple of specific CDs to listen to as I’m working over the next few weeks or months. I have found that music stirs my writer’s soul in ways I might not have experienced if I surrounded myself totally with silence.
For instance, when I’m brainstorming ideas for a picture book, I like to play sweet little children’s CDs from my childhood or from recent finds. I’ve discovered this instantly transports me into the innocent world of imagination and playfulness that children live in.
When I’m doing a market analysis on a new idea for a nonfiction book on African American history, and looking up books on Amazon that my own book idea would compete with, I pop Marian Anderson’s CD of Spirituals into my player. My writer’s soul soars and a potentially difficult part of my writing day is inspirational and motivation instead.
When I’m creating a timeline for my historical middle grade novel about the American Revolution, I listen to rousing renditions of patriotic songs and I feel like I’m there in the midst of it all!
Usually, when I sit down to my writing sessions, the music is turned off. But I have discovered that because I listen to music that relates to the theme of my current writing project while I’m doing important writing related tasks, my writer’s soul is much more creative and imaginative than it was before.
Try it! Add key selections of themed music to your writer’s workspace and see what happens!
-contributed by Nancy Sanders