Write Better: Listen to Music

In Billy Mernit’s latest post on Living the Romantic Comedy, he talks about how many writers rely on music to get their writing groove on. Mernit writes:

Caffeine. Alcohol. A toke, a toot. Everyone’s got their favorite stimulant, but when it comes to working on a draft, the overwhelming drug of choice for most writers I know is music.

Four screenwriters interviewed in Karl Iglesias’s fine and useful book, The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters talk of their dependence on music as muse: Ron Bass likes to write to jazz; Steven DeSouza uses soundtracks from movies similar to the genre he’s writing in; Scott Rosenberg goes for rock’n’roll; Nicholas Kazan prefers Gregorian chant (“I need something constant and neutral. I find it’s a wonderful aid that sort of massages the right hemisphere of my brain”).

References to writer-as-listener abound in the realm of screenwriting interviews. My own habit coincides with that of Mr. Bass, who notes: “I like to play the same CDs over and over because I like the music to disappear.”

True that. When I find a piece of music that evokes the sensibility of what I’m writing, I put it on Repeat and play it for hours. (This method’s only drawback is that when you wear out a piece this way, you really do wear it out; certain songs I used to love are dead to me now, sadly.)

Read more here. 

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