Let Music Spawn Creativity

Brain_Waves

Whenever I sit down to write, I pick a playlist or album that fits the mood of what I plan to write. I always have music going in the background to motivate and inspire me.

Some people believe that classical music provides great creativity for the brain, but I tend to lean towards rock music. I personally think rock music makes great inspirational tunes for action and/or fight scenes. I turn to slow powerful ballads for the dramatic moments. I even have a whole playlist of mixed genres set up for those times when I need something more on the mushy side.

Not every song is right for every story so you may want to give it some thought first. There are some songs you might want to avoid while trying to convey a certain mood in your story. If you are writing an intense shootout or car chase, then you probably don’t want to hear a slow song that reminds you of your ex and breathes life back into those old memories.

My recommendation would be to set up several playlists filled with songs you enjoy and let each one have a specific mood. A friend recently convinced me to try Spotify and I can’t imagine how I ever lived without it. It is so easy to set up playlists and after you listen to enough music, the site will start suggesting music based off what you’ve selected so far.

Hopefully you have found this information helpful and I’d love to hear what music you enjoy listening to while you write.  Now grab a pen, turn on some music, and start writing!

Tips for Fighting the Frustration of Starting a New Novel

I’ve been working on The Alliance novels for over a decade and wow I can’t believe how long it has been since I first started writing the series. The first book is titled The Alliance:Bloodlines and will hopefully be self-published for Kindle in the very near future.  I have since started the sequel, but that novel is in the early draft stages. I had to give my eyes a break from the second draft and there was also the problem of having so many other ideas swirling around in my head.

I felt the time was right to take a step back from the characters I had grown so attached to and start a new series. For the last few years I have ignored the other ideas and characters that were banging around in my brain, so I picked the one I felt most passionate about and built an outline. I knew what I wanted the story to be about and had a pretty good outline to guide me, but somehow still became lost. Why? Because sometimes starting over can be completely scary and overwhelming.  The Alliance characters were already developed and I knew them better than I know most of the real people in my life. So when I adapted them for a comic book and started a sequel, they were already familiar ground for me.  Now I had to take new characters and really work to develop them. I had to bring these characters to life on paper in a brand new story.  Everything here was now uncharted ground.

So what happened? I got over-whelmed and stopped writing after I got about a measly 12,000 words into the story. I let myself become side-tracked with other writing projects and ended up with a few new stories with no real progression on any of them.  I have since learned from my mistake and I am on my way to finishing the first draft of the first novel.

So how do you do it? Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed and frustrated. You have to keep reminding yourself that you are on uncharted ground and make it an adventure and not something dreadful. A positive mindset really does go a long way. You also want to surround yourself with people who will motivate and inspire you.  You can even pitch your idea or show the outline to friends and get their feedback.  I can’t tell you how many times I was greatly inspired about a story just by tossing around a few ideas with friend.

A fellow writer also suggested for me to set small goals for writing a little each day. I can honestly say that it was a great idea and I have been crazy motivated to write every single day. My goal was to write a minimum of 300 words every night before bed and that should give me a full first draft within a year.  I anticipate that it will actually take me less time because I usually write way more than the 300 word minimum.  I feel like the small daily goals have kept me so motivated and immersed in this new story that it is flowing much better now.  My anticipated date for completing this first draft is going to be sometime around November and I’ll make updates on the novel in future blog posts.

So are you a writer who is procrastinating or just struggling for your story? Try to set a small goal and positive mindset for yourself. Feel free to comment below and let me know if the information was helpful or let me know what topics you’d like to read about in future posts!