Firstly, we discussed the question of if we believe music helps us to write better. We both concluded that music helped by exploring themes, emotions and memories, which we use to imbue our writing with feeling and bring it to life.
We next talked about how we use music to get into the ‘mood’ for writing. We discussed our use of specific playlists we’ve curated, including playlists created specifically for our books and others that help us to focus.
We then asked the question of whether we use music for inspiration, and how we do this. Ashley talked about how certain songs (for no apparent reason) seem to connect with her. She notes them down so they can be used at a later date, even if it doesn’t seem to fit with her current work. Sarah talked about how she usually uses playlists specifically related to the books in order to get her excited and help her envision the events of a chapter.
Relaxing is also important, as we discussed in an earlier culturing creativity episode. We talked about how we use different types of music to relax, and how it differs from the music we listen to for our books and for inspiration.
Lastly, we had a discussion about our experience of curating a playlist for each of our novels. Though it’s sometimes hard to fit a song to a specific chapter, we thought this was a good exercise in helping to understand your characters. Especially as collaborative writers, we find listening to each other’s choices helpful to mind-melding and understanding how we both view the characters. We talked about how we have now started creating a ‘take two’ of the playlists, where we choose songs for each other’s characters. This has helped us grow closer to the characters from whose perspectives we don’t write.