Archive for August, 2013

While reading the latest Writer Unboxed blog post about music, I got to thinking about my own distractions.  I recently moved in with three other people, my two best friends and their 6 year old daughter.  We do everything together.  When we’re not working, we’re on our back porch talking and eating and drinking or we’re in one of the bedrooms playing video games or watching movies.  You’d think this would be a very bad environment for writing and yet I’ve written more in the last three months than I did in the prior six months and, if I do say so myself, it’s better writing.  Maybe not grammatically, but editing is for later.  At the moment, I’m sitting on my roommates’ bed watching them slaughter zombies and I just wrote almost 2000 words in my WIP in about an hour.  Yes, I should be able to do more and I have done more in the past, but I’m enjoying it more now.  Writing does not need to be the activity of a socially-inept hermit.  For some people, silence is necessary and socialization is death to the written word.  I understand that. 

However, I’m finally realizing that I need noise and people.  Especially noise.  My characters are in a post-apocalyptic world; they’re not exactly plugging in their iPods.  Even if they were, they would never be listening to Top 40.  My playlist is a Pandora station based on Within Temptation.  It plays everything from Evanescence to Blackmore’s Night to Loreena McKennitt to Skillet to Linkin Park.  That is my perfect mix.  The songs help me get the right emotions for my characters.  Normally, I’m happy and optimistic, which works well at times for one of my MCs, but most of the time, I need dark, sad, and/or angry songs to put my mind in the right place.  Some of the music is actually quite wonderful and inspirational, but somehow it still works for me. 

For myself, I now understand that I will never have a quiet life.  I don’t think I want that anyway.  Maybe I’ll demand quiet time when I finally get to the editing stage of my WIP, but for the first draft, music and other distractions are an absolute necessity.  Surrounding myself with noises forces me to focus on just one of the many voices in my head at any given moment. 

And that may be the best form of silence in the world.