Remember your favorite guitar solo? How about that piano sonata that made you cry real tears? Music is an art that helps us heal and feel–just like writing. Music is poetry. Music also tells a story. Did you know that listening to music is one of the best ways to get inspired? Here are 5 ways you can use music to help you write your next poem or piece of prose.
1. Music can jog your memory. Have you ever listened to a song that reminds you of “that one time…”? Utilize that. Use that as an opportunity to explore a subject (whether that’s a person, an idea, or an object) you may have forgotten about. Perhaps listening to a song will allow you to reach new conclusions you were unable to reach before. A song can open the gates and let those words flood onto the page.
2. Music can evoke emotions. Tunes affect us more than we think. Similar to jogging memories, songs can make you feel. A heart-wrenching ballad will make you feel sad; an upbeat, bubblegum radio hit might make you feel cheerful. You can use music to influence your emotions, which in turn influences what you write.
3. Music can help alleviate your stress. Exams, jobs, relationships — so much affects us in our busy world, and the stress just keeps piling on. Listening to music can help reduce your stress levels, which will clear your mind of distractions and allow you to focus better.
4. Music can be used as a soundtrack. Sometimes, we hit roadblocks when writing our characters and settings. One way to get past this wall is to create a soundtrack for your piece (like a playlist). Picture your world like a movie scene, and think of music that might play during the movie. Focus on what the music makes you think of, what the music makes you envision. Let the music take you in new and exciting directions.
5. Music can increase your energy. When you’re more energetic, you can perform more. In the same way music affects your mood, music can perk you up or relax you.
If you’d like to learn more about the science behind music and creativity, check out this article by the National Science Foundation:
Playlist and pen ready? Take a look at our Submission Guidelines as you conduct your writing/jam session. The submissions deadline for Fall 2016 is March 31st. Happy writing!