Writing Motivation: What’s Your Method?

One of the most controversial things I’ve heard about in writing circles is what people use to keep themselves motivated. On one side, you have the purists who say you don’t need anything to help you write. On the other, you have everyone else, who like writing in coffee shops or along to music.

I’m in the second camp. As someone who considers music a huge part of her life in general, music factors pretty strongly into my writing life, too. I often make up playlists of songs that fit certain scenes in my novels. I’ll find “theme songs” for my main characters, and listen to them when I’m writing their defining moments. And when I’m trying to write a certain tone—like in a breakdown scene—I’ll listen to a certain song to help me get in the mood. (For that last one, I recommend Hardboiled (Afraid) from the Avatar: The Legend of Korra soundtrack.)

But although this is my usual method, I don’t always write to music. Sometimes I do. Sometimes, when I’m just editing or the words are flowing perfectly, I don’t. And my music taste changes, too—sometimes, I prefer listening to instrumental music, and sometimes, the lyrics in a song really help me get into my character’s head.

So my question for you is this: what do you do when you write? Do you listen to music? If so, what are your favourite genres or songs?

I’d love to hear your answers down in the comments 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Writing Motivation: What’s Your Method?

  1. I usually listen to music before I start to write, but once I start writing I have to have complete silence, otherwise I get distracted. The music I listen to is usually something with lots of energy and a fast tempo. My novels have a lot of action scenes, so fast music really gets me in an active mood.

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    1. Sometimes that works for me. But I’m also ADHD, so if there’s a lot of non-music noise in the background, I can get distracted really easily. Dunno why, but music doesn’t bother me the same way.

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