Writing Quote

"Don't write merely to be understood.
Write so that you can't possibly be misunderstood."
-Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Music and Writing

I've always loved music. New music, old music, good music, bad music (sounds like a Dr. Seuss book). I play a little piano (a very little). I sing only adequately (but soulfully). I'm secretly a performing musician at heart, but it terrifies me. So I sing in the church choir, refusing solos, and I rock out with the radio. I've been known to sing in the shower or while playing mindless games on the computer, but only if I'm sure no one else in the house can hear me. And sadly, sadly, I have never felt comfortable singing to my babies, so I do it rarely. When I listen to music, I get wrapped up in it. So much so that if I'm doing anything else, I have to tune the music out so I don't get too distracted.

Knowing all this, you probably think I have the radio on all the time, right? Or I have my ipod in one ear at all times. Or I play CD after CD, filling my world at all times with music.

Not so much.

I don't know how it's happened but over the years, music and I have become somewhat estranged. I listen to music in the car now and that's about the only time. And then it's usually only the stuff I know my husband doesn't mind. I suspect it has something to do with having kids. Kids have a music all their own and it completely overwhelms all other sounds. My days are so flooded with the sounds of children's programming, nursery rhymes, kids laughing, kids crying, kids fighting, kids questioning, kids complaining, kids playing... well, you get the idea. If I get a moment to choose the noise in our house, I tend to choose silence. That makes me sad because I miss music. But I also can't stand one more moment of noise, not even lovely, wonderful, beautiful noise.

What's all this have to do with writing? It seems like every time I turn around, I'm hearing something or reading something about some writer's "writing sound track." And I always think I'd like to make my own inspirational mix of songs to help draw the words out of me. But the thought of taking time to sift through all my music to find the songs that 1. invite the muses into my writing process and 2. do not distract me to the point of not being able to write at all, is just exhausting. So my writing sound track, unglamorous as it seems, is the aforementioned kid-noise or silence. For now, I think I'm okay with that. But maybe as the kids get older, I'll be able to add in a few grown up tunes in there.

What's your writing sound track? Or do you sometimes find silence to be the most inspirational sound of all?

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I can, in no way, write with "wordy" music going. I need to have soundtracks from movies or soundtracks from a bunch of movies (Trailer music! see: www.twostepsfromhell.com). But I envy those that can divorce the words of music from the words of writing. And...I envy those who are comfortable enough with silence to write. Sigh...one day.

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