The Write Attitude: Music and Motivation by Lauren Lynne
The Write Attitude: Music and Motivation
By Lauren Lynne
Do you hear what I hear? It’s music. It can both motivate you, and shift your attitude.
People love the way it makes them feel and that’s why it is so often used in film as a way to communicate mood and feeling. Music is used for all kinds of things like helping people sleep, calming stress, motivation, keeping you shopping at the mall, and yes, friend, it can help you write too.
I’m a firm believer that what works for one person, may not work for another. Having said that, let’s talk about what works for me and then see if this motivational tip can apply for you.
I have been using music while I write for years. My tunes of choice are nearly always non-vocal versions of songs because I tend to listen to the words if someone is singing, and the words I need to be paying attention to are my own. I often use thematic movie scores to build both characters and scenes. I am a fan of instrumental movie music.
When I wrote my young adult dystopian, The Recalcitrant Project, I listened to music from The Hunger Games series, the Divergent series, the T.V. show Arrow, and some general music in the category of “Epic Movie Music.” James Newton Howard and Howard Shore are two of my current favorite composers. I listened to a lot of Howard Shore’s work while I was writing The Secret Watchers series.
Writing a fight or chase scene? Try listening to James Newton Howard’s Chase Across DC from the movie Salt, or Brian Tyler’s Clutch Then Shift from the movie Eagle Eye. Need something a little more haunting? Try Marc Streitenfeld’s Pact Sworn In Blood from the movie Robin Hood or Howard Shore’s Edge of Darkness from the movie of the same name.
If none of that grabs you, think about what you are writing and find a movie of the same genre. Who composed the movie score? Give them a listen. Most folks know what they like, so you can always start with music that speaks to you personally whether it has vocals or not.
Why music, you may ask?
Some say it soothes the savage beastie. I say it activates the mind. There is a lot of research on the positive effects of music, but stop for a minute and think about how it makes you feel. When we can lock onto those feelings, writing becomes so much MORE. Music can be a powerful tool to use while writing, because it engages feelings. I keep it soft and low in the background. You may be a heavy metal fan and into heavy riffs and growling vocals – I’m not judging – do what works for YOU!
Today, many are jumping on the music band wagon, pun intended. There is more research out there than you can shake a stick at and everyone seems to have an article about music, mood, and brain function. What matters is how it makes YOU feel. Do a little experimenting until you find what strikes the right kind of attitude for your piece.
Wait … can you hear that? Is it the theme from The Game of Thrones calling my name? Why yes, yes it is.
About Lauren Lynne
Lauren Lynne is the author of The Recalcitrant Project, a new dystopian from Wyvern's Peak Publishing, and the young adult fantasy, action-adventure series, The Secret Watchers. She graduated from both Oregon State and Portland State universities with degrees in education. Lauren focused her Secret Watchers series toward teen reluctant readers but has drawn in enthusiasts of all ages. She’s passionate about sharing her love of reading and writing with everyone.
The Pacific Northwest, with its vivid and varied panoramas, is where Lauren makes her home. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with her family, working with students, reading, gardening, or hiking around Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, or the Oregon Coast.
To learn more about Lauren and her current and past work, visit LaurenLynneAuthor.com.
Resources for further reading:
Want to know more about music, motivation, and positive attitude? Try some of these sources: