Friday, 6 June 2014

3 Ways To Drown Out The World And Sink Into The Creative Well

'How I Write' ~ 8Tracks

By Dorothy Adamek

Writers are well known for taking themselves off to quiet/noisy places where an escape from the everyday allows that uninterrupted sinking into the creative well. 

Let’s face it, we’re all crave to sink and be allowed to stay there ~ whether we’re pushed by a deadline or simply the longing to get our words onto the page. 

For months I’ve had tradesmen in my yard for a pool installation. Different trades have worked to their own rhythms, spurred on by the music of their choice at the decibels which best suit the worksite. 

I don’t begrudge them their music. The day passes faster when you work to a beat. But writing is also a pursuit where noise or music aides the artist. 

Here’s three escape chutes I’ve used to drown out the concrete grinders and nail guns. Grab the headphones and follow me...

'A Jane Austen Romance' ~ 8Tracks
1. Pandora is a free internet radio option where you create up to 100 tailor-made stations of your choice. Search for the name of one of your favourite songs, artists or genres, and Pandora will scan its “entire world of analyzed music...to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice.” You can keep your profile private or share and follow other Pandora users. As a writer of historicals, I like to keep a list of music from the 1800s, including instrumental hymns.

2. 8Tracks is another example of free handcrafted internet radio. It offers “a simple way for people to share and discover music through an online mix, a short playlist containing at least 8 tracks.” I use this website as a listener, grateful for those who’ve compiled a collection of tracks by genre, mood or activity. A quick search of some of my all-time favorites delivers more options than I have time to explore. 

A search for Jane Austen, for example, will bring up the well loved soundtracks to movies and mini series well known to Austen enthusiasts. Add a + sign to the explore option, select writing, reading, romance...(the list is endless) and you’ll receive compilations by various users. The one I tried first was Music To Write To. (How did they know?) Instrumental and evocative and perfect if you write historical romance. 

You may care to veer centuries away from Jane Austen to Broadway, Beach House, Feelgood or Electronic - combinations as varied as your moods. 

But if music doesn’t cut it and you just need noise...here’s where you go. 

'Music To Write To' ~ 8Tracks
3. Soundrown is another free option where you combine the sounds of a coffee shop with rain, waves, fire and/or birds. Not enough choices? How about night sounds, train sounds, fountains and white noise? Even a playground can stream into your earbuds and transport you as far from the tradesmen in your yard and into whatever feeds your storyworld. My favorite at Soundrown is a splash of coffee shop with a good dollop of rain. Wrap me in my writing shawl and I’m good to go.

How about you? What do you listen to when you write? Genre, mood or sound? If you haven't already, play around with some of the options above and share what works for you.

Blessings for a wonderful weekend,  

Dotti


Dorothy Adamek lives in Melbourne with her Beloved and their three gorgeous kids. She's the winner of the 2013 FHL ~ Touched By Love Competition. Enamoured by all things 19th century, she writes The Heartbeat of Yesteryear, Historical Romance ~ Aussie style. Come say G'day at her blog, Ink Dots. 

15 comments:

  1. So interesting, Dotti--thanks for sharing this. I plan to try your suggestions, although I'm not a great fan of using headphones. At the moment, I have a little Ipod on a shelf near my desk, with most of my favourite CDs on it. I like my music to fill my study and make a kind of welcoming, writing haven I can return to with joy and anticipation, if I have to go off and do something else! As for the music I listen to, it depends on my mood, as you say, but I like anything from classical orchestral music (Beethoven in particular) to flute instrumentals to cello instrumentals to beautiful, sacred music to Irish tenors to Leonard Cohen to motown to ... No wonder the books I have written are such a weird mix!

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    1. Hi Jo-Anne, thankfully there's every type of music combo for all our writing moods. So glad you've got your favourites at hand.
      Bless you. :)

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  2. Wow! Dotti, thanks for all those suggestions. I never realised there were so many options out there.

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    1. Hi Annie, I really only scratched the surface. There's so much more out there, as Ian has mentioned below. I hope you have fun exploring.
      Bless you. :)

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  3. Dotti, I actually can't write with music in the background. If I'd been in your situation these past few months I would have had to have moved out to get any writing done.

    My son swears by Spotify. Dan pays $10 per month and downloads all the music he wants I believe.

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    1. Hi Ian, I did run away on many occasions, to local cafes and libraries, but on days when I had to stay home the music sites helped a lot. But you bring up a valid point in that many artists like to create in complete silence. And there's nothing wrong with that. :)
      Bless you for stopping by.

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  4. Dotti, great post! I occasionally use Pandora, thanks to your suggestion :) I like writing to music, but I can also write in silence, or switch off to background noise if I'm engrossed in the story.

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    1. Hi Narelle, there's lots of mood enhancers to choose from if silence is a little less than golden. Glad you've had a play with some of them. :)

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  5. Thanks for the tips, Dotti. I like the idea of getting all our preferred styles of music together. And there is always plenty of din to drown out at my place, with homeschooled kids, game playing young men and saxophone playing husband :)

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    1. Hi Paula, I can see how your household could easily turn into a happy cacophony, but I must say I am envious of the live saxophone. No need for Saxophone Radio where you live. :)

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  6. Thanks for the tips, Dotti. I like the idea of getting all our preferred styles of music together. And there is always plenty of din to drown out at my place, with homeschooled kids, game playing young men and saxophone playing husband :)

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  7. Interesting to hear how we all tackle the "job" of wring, Dottie.My writing place is one end of the living room wherein sits the TV and is the warmest/coolest part of the house. Noise I find I can switch off because I have large windows onto the garden to gaze out when I need inspiration. My dear hubby has to tap me on the shoulder if he wants to talk to me because I drift into another world...that of my characters. Classical music is nice when I have a block and can set me off writing again.

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    1. Hi Rita, classical music suits so many genres, it's no wonder authors tap into it's various moods. Glad to hear you've got a great view, too. :)

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  8. I'd never heard of Pandora but am certainly going to explore it! Thanks for the info. Probably the only time I don't have music on is when I'm writing or reading. Funnily enough, I like it when I'm editing.

    The rest of the time though, music is playing. You'll find me doing the housework with my iPod in my ears, or my phone in a dock while I'm cooking dinner and t's a must while I'm driving. Like you, Dotti, I have favourite artists and playlists. Sounds like Pandora will be right up my alley!

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    1. Hi Andrea, I'm sure you'll love the freedom to create your own Pandora station. What would we do without our i-gadgets, hey? :)

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