Often times when I sit down to write, I need a bit of inspiration. So, music is where I go to boost the current mood of the scene. Once I get into my groove, there’s no stopping me. What exactly do I mean by groove?
First, let’s turn to Webster’s. This definition tells us it’s a long narrow channel or depression. However, the second definition listed is defined as a fixed routine while the third one is a situation suited to one’s abilities or interests.
Okay, that’s very interesting, but what does all this have to do with writing? The answer is found in several ways. First, music a few decades ago turned flat vinal disks at a certain speed where a needle road in a groove on the vinal disk that was then amplified into sound. The grooves in the vinal record held the code to the music. Back in the sixties and seventies, the term ‘groovy baby’ actually was referring to these grooves on vinal records. If something was groovy, it meant they liked it, as in the grooves on the record that played their favorite songs. Actually, the term groovy first started showing up in the twenties. The word originated in the jazz culture which is referred to the ‘groove’ of a piece of music that was key to the music’s rhythm and feel.
Nowadays, music is mostly digital. However, recently, vinal records are beginning to make a comeback. New high-tech players with re-engineered speaker systems really make the music sound astounding.
I’ve said all this to paint a picture of what I do to get into my groove when I sit down to write a particular scene. I put on my headphones and choose an appropriate piece of music that will enhance my feeling. There are many types of music that you can play that get me going and it depends entirely on my mood of the day and the type of scene I’m writing. If it’s a high-velocity action scene, I choose something like Rush’s ‘Vapor Trails.’ The first song, ‘One Little Victory’ starts off quick and intense which gets me pumped for the action. If I’m writing something in a fantasy land where the characters are questing and adventuring, I’ll put on some Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here album. It’s much slower and euphoric-feeling and perfect for those types of scenes.
Led Zeppelin is another of my favorites. I can play ‘The Rain Song’ on the Houses of the Holy album for a dark and gloomy scene or pump it up with ‘A Whole Lotta Love’ off Led Zeppelin II.
Space battles can be difficult to write, so you have to be in the right frame of mind. At least that’s how it is for me. Oftentimes, I turn to a soundtrack mix from Battle Star Galactica from the rebooted series. There’s a ton of music from this soundtrack that fits many different moods in my books.
Some say that listening to classical music boosts creativity. According to entrepreneur.com, “Researchers have long claimed that listening to classical music can help people perform tasks more efficiently. This theory, which has been dubbed “the Mozart Effect,” suggests that listening to classical composers can enhance brain activity and act as a catalyst for improving health and well-being.”
So having some Bach or Mozart in your music collection is a benefit for sure. I currently don’t have any classical music other than some of the movie and TV show music scores, but I definitely can attest to improved creative juices when I’m listening to some of that music, which often times, is classical in nature.
Some days start out hard for me, but all I have to do is plunk my headphones on and play some music. Doesn’t matter what I start out with, but the music improves my attitude and outlook in just a few bars. I can get into my writing groove fairly quickly and before you know it, I’ve knocked out a chapter and listened to one or two whole albums.
So, no matter what music you like, treat yourself to those grooves to get into your groove. Trust me, this does work wonders. Add some music to enhance your mood. Find a mix that works best for you. Whether It’s fast-paced and intense music for high-octane scenes or mystical works for fantasy and emotional scenes, you’re the boss.
I’d love to hear from you on what your groove is.
Until next time, this is Author Brian K. Larson, sparking imaginations, one book at a time.