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Do you have an Anthem?
Jack Whitsel
Posted: Monday, May 30, 2011 7:13 PM
Joined: 5/7/2011
Posts: 35

This quick article serves more as inspirational topic than a direct reference to writer's block. But then again...there is a relation between inspiration and writer's block .

Though we are known to be a visual species (especially the male gender), we cannot overlook the impact audio plays in our daily lives; the sound of children laughing, nature, or the romantic whisper of a lover. But among all these audible wonders is music. What makes music so remarkable is its infinite diversity; from the origins of its creation to the instruments used. Whether purely instrumental, spoken, or sung, it moves us in ways no other medium can.

As writers, we thrive on inspiration. And as much as our muse sings to us from things we see, we are also touched from that which you hear. Is there a piece of music that defines you…or helps remind you of what is most
important in your life? Or is there a song that simply makes you feel good despite the tribulations you face on any given day?

I believe everyone should have an anthem. Whether self-created or not is unimportant so long as it taps your self-love, vitality, or fulfills a specific
emotional/physical need.

So…what’s Jack’s Anthem? What gem of profound musical splendor does he have after wind-bagging for so long? Well…my answer may disappoint you as I am, and forever will be a child of rock n’ roll and pop culture. (You should have seen me with my Peter Frampton hair in the 80′s) Then again…this is about me…as your song should be about you.

Bon Jovi: It’s my life and Lady Gaga: Born this way

Whether you wish to share your song or not is entirely your discretion, but please…please find one. Who knows, the anthem you embrace may also strengthen and inspire the voice in your writing.


L R Waterbury
Posted: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 5:19 AM
Joined: 4/28/2011
Posts: 60

I may be the odd woman out here because, although I like music, I don't need it. I only turn on the radio to listen to NPR (yes, I'm a bleeding heart liberal). Occasionally, I remember that maybe I should listen to some of the music I have on my computer and then I will go through a short-lived, heavy, music-listening phase. Oddly enough--or maybe not so oddly enough--I rarely listen to music while I write. I actually find it distracting. I'm more likely to listen to music while I illustrate.

So what are my sounds of choice? Baseball usually, though most any sporting event will do with the exception of basketball and hockey. I sit on my bed, laptop actually on my lap, turn the TV on and type while I listen out of one ear. There's something about the ongoing babble of the real world that feels like inspiring white-noise to me.

Go Yankees! Go Cubs! And, yes, I realize that may be the most contradictory pair of favorite teams.
Jack Whitsel
Posted: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 9:53 PM
Joined: 5/7/2011
Posts: 35

There's nothing wrong with contradiction. Go Redsox...go A's! How's that for fan contradiction. And being a bleedung heart holds merit as well.

No music...no worries. Just keep writing.

Robert C Roman
Posted: Friday, June 3, 2011 2:48 AM
Joined: 3/12/2011
Posts: 383

I've got an entire playlist. Actually, I've got *two* playlists. I move to different sections of each when I'm writing different characters.

The ones I've been using a lot lately?

Porn Star Dancing by My Darkest Day, Till The World Ends by Brittany Spears, and On the Floor by Jennifer Lopez and Pit Bull.

Then again, I'm writing scenes starring a stripper right at the moment.
Posted: Friday, June 3, 2011 3:34 PM
Joined: 3/29/2011
Posts: 20

I constantly have a running playlist in my head, but it changes depending on what it is that I'm writing on. Part of my outlining process is to put a theme song at least per section, if not per chapter. In Through the Lens, (which I have up on Book Country) "Elderly Woman Sitting Behind a Counter in a Small Town" by Pearl Jam is actually a huge motivator for my lead.

As far as my personal anthem, though... I'd have to say that it changes depending on my mood. I've driven friends and exes insane over the years with my "obsession" songs, as they would call them. There was a time in college that I played Jane Says (Jane's Addiction) on a loop for a few days... then Gin Blossoms' 29.... then Marvelous 3... the list could go on forever, really.

While working on Neon Tiger (WIP on here as well) I've become dependent on Adele, The Killers and Butch Walker to get me through the section I'm working on.
Alex Hollingshead
Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2011 12:50 AM
Joined: 5/2/2011
Posts: 61

I like music, I like having sound when I write, but I honestly don't find any one song or sort of song to be any more or less inspirational to my writing. Sometimes I get a lyric in my head that inspires me in some way, but actually listening to the song doesn't do much more for me than listening to any other. I just play whatever I'm in the mood for. I'll listen to obnoxious, bubbly Japanese pop music while writing a tragic death scene; I'll listen to the 300 soundtrack while writing a sex scene; it just doesn't really affect my writing beyond engaging another of my senses while I type.
Jack Whitsel
Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2011 2:49 AM
Joined: 5/7/2011
Posts: 35

Robert, Amber, Alex...thank you for your input. All the music you've listed is fabulous! The Muse touches us in mysterious ways.
Jack Whitsel
Posted: Saturday, June 11, 2011 5:29 AM
Joined: 5/7/2011
Posts: 35

@ Ks. Your story about the bluegrass music sounds inspirational to me. Thanks for sharing.
Posted: Saturday, June 11, 2011 8:35 PM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216

"Drive" by Incubus pretty much sums it up.
Danielle Bowers
Posted: Saturday, June 11, 2011 9:09 PM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 280

The music I write to changes depending on WIP and scene, each character may have their own personal anthem I'll toss on to get me into their head.

A personal anthem? If I had to pick something it would probably be something from one of Kate Bush's albums.

Posted: Saturday, June 11, 2011 9:20 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 245

I put iTunes on shuffle and write. After a WiP is written, I might encounter songs in listening to my iPod or iTunes that make me think of a scene or character. Those songs go into a soundtrack for the book that I will usually blog about when a WiP is done.
Jack Whitsel
Posted: Saturday, June 11, 2011 11:21 PM
Joined: 5/7/2011
Posts: 35

@ Ivoid, Lisa Marie, and Stephmcgee
Thank you for your responses. Each one was wonderful and unique.

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