Let me start this by saying how much I love my days off of my day job (like almost every other person alive, save for those detestable ones who do something they love). While I’m not particularly fond of my internal clock having deemed 8a.m. the point at which I’ve slept in, I’m glad to say it’s not even 10a.m. and I’ve already been semi-productive.
No need to sugar-coat it: I’m a slow-starter, and I’m okay with that. However, being awake this early and meandering through my morning, complete with moments of being hooked up to my iPod, also provided ample inspiration, between half-sleepy yawns, for today’s Day of Blogging.
Day Three – Five-Minute Music Breaks
There are times, when I’m writing, that I just kind of run out of steam. It could be in right at the end of a story, when I’m not sure how I want to wrap things up. It could be after the first two words are typed, at which point my brain has decided to flop around like a fish whose pond suddenly, mysteriously evaporated. There are plenty of points in between those, but I imagine I can go without giving each specific example. This post would be novel-length if I did.
My solution to this problem is to listen to music, but in a very specific way. No, I don’t mean specific in that I pick a special pair of blue headphones, sit down in the west-facing corner of a room, and shut only my right eye (although that example certainly does embody the very spirit of the word specific, which I feel I should stop using at this point since it probably needs a rest). What I mean is I wander off to an unoccupied space, whether that’s a room in my house no one happens to be in, outside (gasp), or elsewhere, and listen to music.
For about five minutes, give or take.
I never really thought of why I did that, and mostly just accepted it as one of the odd little quirks that make up much of who I am. The truth of why I listen to so little music for a relatively set amount of time walks the line between interesting and boring, probably leaning towards the latter. The music isn’t meant to be a long break, or a pleasant distraction, but a means of getting me back on task. I say this with a bit of a chuckle, as I just spent an hour away from writing this working on other household chores.
None of the songs are grouped into playlists, but I know what songs are my go-to for different situations. I’ve got songs for when I’m trying to focus on writing a cheerful scene. Music for sad scenes? Got that, too. Trying to get into the right headspace to write an epic sword-fight? Songs for that, too. There’s even differentiations between the music I listen to when I’m writing a battle that’s prominently magic as opposed to sword-fighting. The list goes on.
I don’t even necessarily listen to whole songs, either. Just enough to get me back into the right mindset for writing what I need to get written. There’s typically a bit of skipping ahead into songs to find just what I’m looking for, as well as jumping from song to song enough that my iPod probably hates me. Once I’ve gotten back to the necessary headspace to work on whatever scene is in progress, I shut my iPod back off and head back to my computer.
Wandering off with music is, I’d hazard a guess, a remnant of when I still lived with my parents. I would stand out on the back deck, ear buds in and my music turned up far too loudly for my own good, while the dogs wandered around the yard for a bit before bed. It served two purposes. I had some alone time with my music and thoughts, and the dogs had a chance to relieve themselves so they wouldn’t wake my stepdad in the middle of the night (they never mastered shutting off the alarm system and opening doors).
Really, it sounds ridiculous to type out. I disappear to somewhere else, listen to most of a song, or bits of several songs, and resume writing. Odd as it may be, it certainly has been a helpful method to my writing madness over the years.
In any event, I think battling the plastic Christmas tree (yes, I am fully aware it’s July) has earned me a nap. Ninety-seven days remaining.