Tag Archives: University of California

Music to write by

Even my cat loves music!

Like writing, music is a big part of my life. I am married to a musician, and that means plenty of song, heaps of sound, and loads of (real) rock band. I have consequently become a “drummer-in-training” for accompaniment purposes. Yes, my (writing) life is a melodious one.

When it comes to writing, there is always music playing in the background (in some form or another), and I’d probably be lost without it. As I write this, I am listening to Arcade Fire (The Suburbs), their “sprawling but intimate new album.” Some other faves from the soundtrack to my writing life, are: MGMT, WeezerThe Cardigans, and (forgive me for this), Vinyl 95.3.

According to research from the University of California, listening to music creates new neural pathways in our brains that stimulate creativity. Music can train the brain for higher forms of thinking (bonus!). For me, music definitely inspires and sets a mood. It can also unleash writer’s block, relax the brain, jump-start a session, and infuse fiction with rich emotion. Music might just be my perfect muse.

How to use music as part of your writing practice:

  • Claim a starting song: Okay, this is vaguely similar to Pavlov’s famous experiments with dogs. Sound the bell. Play your song—every time you sit down to write. Consider Aerosmith’s Back In The Saddle Again.
  • Reflect the time period: Connect with your characters in every way possible. Are you chronicling the 1980s disco period? If so, you should, like, totally fill your writing brain with M-a-d-o-n-n-a.
  • Set the mood: Play music that reflects what you’re writing. If it’s action, how about some Smashing Pumpkins, Muse, or even Guiseppe Verdi’s, Stiffelio.
  • Keep it light: If this is all too much for you, give Mozart or Vivaldi a try for background music. Higher brain function will be yours.
  • Silence is golden: Use your starting song to get going, and then turn it off.

I. Love. Music. I am always surprised how quickly my brain responds to music. Give it a try. Do it often and be consistent; consistency is, after all, the age-old practice of successful writers.

What is YOUR music to write by?

Bjas

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Filed under Inspiration, Life and stuff, Motivation

Mark Twain’s Full Autobiography to be Published

Some cool book news for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn fans.

Mark Twain’s autobiography is finally going to be published 100 years after his death. The autobiography has been kept locked in a vault at the University of California at Berkeley since his death 1910. Twain’s autobiography will arrive in bookstores in November.

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

You can read more about Mark Twain here on the official website from the Estate of Mark Twain.

Beckie

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Filed under Books and stuff, News