Thursday, October 14, 2010

Writing Music

Whenever I get stuck, I have several things I do to wake the muse. 
I read my book of quotations, I read poetry, or maybe look back through a dusty box of old photographs. Normally, one of these provides a spark that leads to something interesting.
When all else fails, I have an iTunes playlist of songs entitled "Writer Songs".  This is a group of about twenty songs that for some reason speak to me. 
Music is a powerful thang. Most people have favorite songs that make them sad, make them smile, or that make them drive faster than the law allows whenever the music comes crashing through the car speakers.
My list of songs is eclectic to say the least. It transcends subject,  time, and genre. But whenever I click play, my brain knocks itself out of gear and coasts for a while. Imagery begins to course through my mind like a thousand movies chopped up into pieces, thrown into a pile, and then spliced back together by a movie critic who's had too much Merlot.
One of the main functions your brain provides is to normalize input. This is a valuable service because we live in a remarkable place and time. The volume and velocity of information today is more and faster than at any time in history.
If your brain had to analyze, sort, prioritize, and act upon everything coming at you, it would simply blow a fuse and you'd be somewhere in a corner drooling and picking gnats off the wall.
But if you don't throw your brain a curve every now and then, a lot of really neat stuff gets filed under "miscellaneous". 
That's what my tricks do. They provide input that can't easily be sorted into a pile. So far, they have served me well.
If some of you have other tricks you use to help you be more creative, I'd love to hear about them.

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