On Writer’s Block & Playlists
I feel like I’ve made multiple posts on both of these subjects before. Hm.
I have, actually, though the playlist one is old (you can find it over here) but it bears repeating in this case. In my last post, I talked about struggling with writer’s block this past weekend and decided I’d just push through it and force out the chapter or two that was giving me such a hard time. Well, I succeeded. So hooray for that!
Today, I realized why I was having such a hard time.
Quick wrap up of that previous playlist post: basically, I am obsessed with them and make them for specific scenes, characters, couples, etc. Everything.
I’ve been following the totally awesome Rae Chang on Twitter for several months now and lemme tell you, I have never seen more helpful tweets on writing from anyone. Some of it I know, a lot of it I hadn’t considered before, but it’s always a got a dash of good humor and I’m so, so thankful I came across such a lovely person.
I spotted this post from Rae earlier today (it’s a thread, go read it!):
You know when you have that LAST TINY LITTLE BIT OH I CAN TOTALLY DO THAT IN LIKE TWO DAYS in your book, and then it’s done HURRAY FIREWORKS ACCOLADES etc
— 🗡Rae Chang🐍 (@RaeAChang) February 13, 2018
Ping! There’s the lightbulb.
I took a look at the playlist I’d made for the character, Castor. It was full of songs from Avenged Sevenfold, from Linkin Park, and even from Green Day (Time of Your Life, anyone?) ALL of it was added for a part of the timeline that hadn’t yet taken place. None of the music in the playlist matched with the mindset that Castor has at the start of the book (where I’m currently writing.)
The playlist I had set up was a little melancholy, made for a point in the story where Castor becomes disenchanted with war and fighting, despite an initial love for it, and begins to rethink what he wants from life. That is NOT his mindset for the start of the story.
So I did what Rae suggested and I dug back through my music (though mine’s sorted differently and I probably have a lot less on my iTunes) for some feel good music. I took a look at artists I haven’t listened to much in recent years. Hello, Fall Out Boy! From Under The Cork Tree has some damn good songs on it, I’d forgotten, and a few of them fit for early story Castor. Green Day again! This time Holiday, for some feel good fuck you! Even got some of The Killers in there, with All These Things That I’ve Done. It has the right beat, plus the crescendo of “I got soul but I’m not a soldier” is so fucking fitting for Castor.
Anyway. I haven’t tried out this playlist just yet, but I already feel so much better about writing upcoming scenes. I’m trying hard not to go back and edit while I write, so I won’t be touching the two chapters I struggled with yet. But really, how cool is that to find just how deeply embedded music is in my mood and mindset? I’m pretty hopeful this playlist is going to help me in some upcoming chapters.
If you lovelies aren’t following Rae Chang yet, go do so now, because I guarantee you will not regret it. And I know music isn’t everyone’s thing, but the general idea remains the same. If you’re doing the same thing over and over and not getting the result you need or want, then change it up. Do something different to change your perspective.
And there it is, the excitement that began to dry up as writer’s block set in. I’m stoked to keep writing again! And that’s a feeling I never want to lose.
Seriously, listen to this song. It is so good.