I Had One Writing Ritual and I Gave It Up

I’m not a ritual type person. Pretty much I sit down and I write. The words flow and I’m happy. Or not, if it’s a difficult scene!Starting in junior high school, I did have one ritual. I’d read somewhere that creativity could be enhanced if one listened to music, which I thought sounded like s great idea. (I wish music could enhance math capabilities too, but that’s another topic.) I made a lot of mix tape cd’s of my favorite songs and whenever I wanted to write I’d put those on and go for it. There was no attempt by me to tailor the song selection to the theme or pace of the story, just music was enough. Typically what happened for me was I’d hear the first song and then I wouldn’t hear the music at all as I became immersed in the flow of writing.

I kept that up for many years, with the variation that sometimes the sound of a specific song would seem to help me write and I’d put that song on endless replay. A lot of one of my novels was written to “The Russian Dervish” music from Riverdance, although nothing in the book remotely related to that music. Thank goodness for head phones or my family would probably have wanted me to move out!

Gary Puckett and the Union Gap had a few songs that seemed to work for one book, as did The Little River Band, and Nelson’s “Can’t Live Without Your Love and Affection” was killer for a certain set of scenes.

Nowadays I don’t need or use music as a background for writing. I started to find it distracting and do better without any. I sit down and I write.

I DO use music sometimes to inspire creativity when I’m thinking about plots or characters, especially if I’m out cruising the freeways…So, there you have it!

This article was originally posted on SFF Seven

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