One of my favorite Buble songs (yes, this is another post that references Michael Buble) is I’m Feeling Good. My favorite part of the song is this:
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
And I’m feeling good
(sing it with me, loud)
Whenever I’m having a ‘good’ writing day, I listen to that song and belt it out loud for my entire family to suffer through enjoy. Oh, who am I kidding – they suffer through it no doubt. I am NOT a singer. Sure, in my own head I sound okay. Not off-key too much, can almost carry the tune. In reality, I suck.
But that’s fine with me – the point of singing isn’t to sound good (unless you are Michael Buble, in which case you sound mighty good, oh yes, mighty good). For me, it’s all about feeling it. Letting the words and the sounds take you to wherever you need or want to go at that moment.
In my ‘real life’, that means to a place where I can accept myself as a writer. Where I can be okay with the writing life. With all the worlds I’ve created (or want to create) swirling around in my head, with all the voices of my characters talking to me and sometimes yelling at me to tell their stories, with all the…possibilities. Being a writer is scary and exhilarating. Often, at the same time. But when I hear that song, everything’s okay. I see the road I’m heading down, not knowing where it will lead, and everything seems right somehow.
Then there are times when I think about what I’m doing – or trying to do – and I tell myself – ACKK, where are you going?!? Turn back, idiot, turn back. It’s not too late. Go back to teaching, or baking, or something you know you’re good at. But lately, those moments are fewer and farther between. Which I think is good. And anyway, this post is not about the demons of insecurity. It’s about Feeling Good.
I mentioned my ‘real life’. But music also helps with that writing life by creating the right mood in my mind, which hopefully translates to setting the right atmosphere in a scene. Example – when I wrote chapter one to Set ‘Em Up, Joe, I listened to Frank Sinatra’s version of One For My Baby over and over again. Like over a hundred times, seriously. One reason is that the scene opens in a bar, with Joe easing into his night with his favorite scotch (and his favorite gal). I figured a ‘bar song’ (or rather, song about a bar) would work. And I think it did. But the main reason I listened to that song is because my character (a vampire) was turned in the 1960s and was a huge fan of Sinatra. Hence the name of the novel, which is a verse from the song. In fact, my hope is to write a series with each title referencing a Sinatra song. But I digress…
So what about you? Do you use music to help you write? Any songs that motivate you (either when you write, or at any other time)?
By the way, when (not if, when) an agent falls in love with my work and extends the offer of representation I’m going to send out a post called “And I’m Feeling SO Good). I’m also going to dye my hair auburn, but that really has nothing to do with music.