The Mental Militia Forums

Arts & Liberties => Writer's Block => Topic started by: lewlew on October 28, 2005, 12:36:12 am

Title: Do you write to music?How do you get into the zone?
Post by: lewlew on October 28, 2005, 12:36:12 am
I tend to write better with music on in the background.  When I get into the zone, I don't really hear it anymore, but I can kind of feel it.  I write best to SRV and Heart.  I picked up a Gov't Mule CD at the library and I'm trying it tomorrow. Sublime is another good one to write to, but I have to be in the right mood; so is Joey Ramone's last album with "It's a Wonderful World," on it. I have a hankering for Otis Redding, so I'll have to put him on hold at the PLS and give him a try.

What other things do you use to get into the zone?   
Title: Re: Do you write to music?How do you get into the zone?
Post by: lewlew on October 28, 2005, 12:21:44 pm
Claire's post today:  I so totally get it!  I get it!  The interruptions do interrupt the "holy flow." 

This is why I didn't write much during the summer.  Here is a reinactment of when I would sit down to write (a little creative license taken). 

* The scene opens up with lewlew doing things around the house, uninterrupted for hours.  "Ah," she says to herself ,"I should sit down and do some writing; everyone is occupied with activities (can interchange with sleeping or is away from the home).  I think I will sit down and write."

lewlew sits down at her centerally located computer, which is located in her happy place, which also happens to be the heart of the home (some refer to this place as the kitchen). "Oh joy," she muses, "I might get something done today."

Tenatively, she taps on her key board. Once, twice, she listens.  Is anyone stirring?  "They don't know,"  she rejoices.  Like woodland birds pecking tree trunks for insects, lewlew enters her zone, tapping furiously on her keyboard, the flow cursing through her veins. 

What she doesn't know is that her tapping also sends out code; the message is a little different each time, but the result is the same. 

Tee wanders out of his room, sleep still intertwined in his bedhead hair.  "Mom, do we have Cheerios?  Maybe Honeynut Cheerios?" 

"Moooommmmm," Rosie screams, location unknown. "There is a spider in heeeeerrrre. Help!"

Slam, the front door closes.  Zander and his girlfriend are going to order pizza and watch a movie. 

lewlew's typing, reminiscient of an adolescent learning to drive a five-speed, jerks to a stop. The phone is ringing.  It's Lew.  "Hon, can you go down stairs and look at my email?  I'm expecting a reply from _____________(fill in the blank)." 

Two small, lonely taps can be heard moments later-- save and close Word.

*The End*

So, back to my original question-- does music or other things help you get into the zone.  Next question-- how do you maintain it, even with interruptions.
Title: Re: Do you write to music?How do you get into the zone?
Post by: Fjolnirsson on October 28, 2005, 03:40:18 pm
My best writing times are when I have insomnia. Unfortunately, I've been sleeping like a baby of late..... :huh:
I tend to get into "the zone" late at night, around 2 in the morning. I don't know why.
Title: Re: Do you write to music?How do you get into the zone?
Post by: penguinsscareme on October 28, 2005, 08:48:13 pm
Unfortunately I seem to do my best writing when it's least convenient to write.  Splitting firewood, at work, in the shower.  I don't particularly need to write to music unless I'm trying to get a mood established.  Usually I'm just trying to recapture what I was thinking of earlier.
Title: Re: Do you write to music?How do you get into the zone?
Post by: lewlew on October 29, 2005, 01:01:53 pm
PSM: 
Quote
Unfortunately I seem to do my best writing when it's least convenient to write.
  That's one of the writer's banes!  I get my best ideas when I'm driving. 


 Fjolnirsson:
Quote
I tend to get into "the zone" late at night, around 2 in the morning
  Have you ever tried to set the alarm and get up for an hour or two in the middle of the night, to see if you get into the same zone?

Damn, but that Gov't Mule CD is terrific. I had fun writing yesterday, which I couldn't say I've been having lately.  Work isn't always fun though, is it?  The flash I wrote was crap, but I had fun.
Title: Re: Do you write to music?How do you get into the zone?
Post by: George Potter on October 31, 2006, 10:13:53 am

I can't listen to music and write at the same time because I do both with the same intensity. I might be able to write to something repetitive and non-lyrical, like techno, but I've never tried. The music I listen to for pleasure won't work. Because I pay exacting attention to it while listening, usually eyes close, in another world.

The zone just comes to me. The story will start narrating itself in my head (most of my stuff is first person). Like I mentioned in another thread about Xangurl: I was lying in bed and all of a sudden I hear this disaffected, vaugely bitchy, faux-bored teenaged female say "Me and Alicia were licking out some cigarette cellophanes we found in her couch." The whole thing unspooled while i lay there. Then started over: "Me and Alicia were licking out some cigarette cellophanes we found in her couch." I got up and wrote it down to make it leave me alone.

I write something every day, even if it's just weird musings to myself. That's the most important habit you should learn: daily writing. It doesn't matter if you think it's crap. Write it anyway. It's practice if nothing else, and you'd be surprised how often little gems -- sentences, paragraphs, whole scenes -- can crop up in the middle of what you thought was mush. :)
Title: Re: Do you write to music?How do you get into the zone?
Post by: Fish on October 31, 2006, 05:50:23 pm
I'll do it to music occasionally, but there's a far better source for me: trying to not fall asleep in class. Having two monotoned teachers helps. So, instead of listening to them drone, I write and whatnot.
Title: Re: Do you write to music?How do you get into the zone?
Post by: Mr. Dare on October 31, 2006, 07:53:26 pm
I'm Gloryroad, I find music a distraction when I am trying to write a song, I get to involved with what I'm hearing and can't come up with anything at all. I usually just get comfortable in a quiet place and start noodling around with whatever instrument I am most comfortable with at the time and see what direction I want to go in. It doesn't matter what I play as long as I am getting warmed up. Pretty soon depending on my mood, certain textures, tones, and pitches will start to coales into a coherent feel to match my mood, and then I start working on structure and mechanics untill I come up with a complete song. I have completed songs in a short a time as a few hours, or taken as much as six months on something complicated. Wonder why it is so hard to stay "in the zone" for six months? lol