Music is my happy place.
Music is a place for me. Much more than a harmonic collection of notes, music is an escape. It’s an oasis of sound with invisible, impenetrable walls made of melody.
In everyday life, music is a perk, a reward, an additive, an enhancement. In my writing life, music serves as my silencer. One of the toughest things to do when writing is to step into the story, become part of the landscape, absorb and release the emotions of the characters. Music allows me to do that.
I was asked once about process and if I have certain routines that I use when writing. I need music to write. I have different playlists with varying songs based on what’s going on in the manuscript, different genres for certain types of scenes, from hip hop to hardcore and everything in between. Writing in actual silence is nearly impossible. I started thinking about why.
The answer is easy. We all have so much noise in our heads every moment of every day. Grocery lists, laundry waiting, drop off and pick up times for children, bills to be paid, leaky faucets to be fixed, doctor appointments we keep forgetting to schedule, calls to return … infinite to-do lists even in our quietest moments, even as we try to drift off to sleep. It could just be me, but I doubt it.
All of that is so LOUD in my head that, when I sit down to write, I’m paralyzed by the weight of it. It’s distracting and if I do manage to squeak out a few paragraphs, the noise worms its way into my story. And that’s not good for anyone.
So I turn to my music. I’m not a purist, I don’t stay within the confines of a specific genre, I just know what works. What hits me where it counts, what will work as my silencer and help me bring out the best in my characters and story.
Back to everyday life, I know I’m not the only one who’s realized that music makes everything easier; it makes chores go faster, makes paying bills a little more pleasant, cements memories by adding another layer to our senses, adds an undercurrent of soothing sound to nearly any task. I think if we each added a little music to our hours here, we’d all find that happy place. Even if only for 3 ½ minutes. Nothing wrong with feeding our souls 3 ½ minutes at a time.