Music is one of the oldest creations of man. For centuries different types of music have been used mainly for entertainment. Specific types of music can be used for relaxation and other types of music are suitable for singing and dancing.
Music affects our moods and actions in many different ways. Many writers prefer listening to music rather than writing in silence. They usually have playlists with different types of music for varying genres. For instance, when she started writing the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling used to listen to Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Another author, Nona Mae King listened to a playlist of classical music while writing her historical fiction novel, Searching for Sara, which is set in the mid-1890s.
Listening to music is one of the ways in which the pleasure center of the brain becomes active. The pleasure center releases a hormone called dopamine that is responsible for making you feel good. Dopamine is also released when we have pleasurable experiences, such as during sex or when we eat a delicious item of food. Dopamine encourages us to write; however, if there isn’t enough of this hormone, we can fall into a depression and won’t be able to write.
The right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for creativity, imagination and emotions. Many writers, such as Ernest Hemingway, have written their stories in cafes or similar places where there is quiet background music. The type of music that is beneficial to one writer may not necessarily be advantageous for another writer. It depends on one’s taste in music and what emotions it evokes.
Music can also inspire us to create characters or scenes. As the music brings out emotions, we can visualise a character or the actions of a character. This is similar to when we watch movies with background music or musical sequences. We may be watching a character in a film and the music takes us on an emotional journey. This can help writers come up with ideas for their own stories.
As mentioned earlier, the right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for creativity and imagination. Therefore, when we listen to music, the melodies bring forth emotions depending on how we feel, whether happy or sad or otherwise. This enables us to imagine characters and maybe even the flow of the story. During this time, it is best not to disrupt the flow of creativity. Once you have finished imagining, you can write it down with a calm mind.
Music can also help with writer’s block. Every writer goes through a period when we are out of ideas. Though there are other ways to get inspired, like taking a walk or going on a vacation, listening to music is the most effective way to get out of a slump.
Everyone loves listening to music while doing activities like exercising and studying. It helps us to focus on what we are doing with a calm mind.
If you haven’t done it yet, try listening to your favorite music while you write and let us know if it positively impacts your creativity.
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Garima has written articles on a wide variety of subjects, such as lifestyle and culture, and she’s also written many book reviews. Recently, she’s decided to devote her energy to writing full time. Garima is open to learning new skills and gaining more opportunities. Currently she’s writing fantasy and contemporary romance novels and has her own writers’ group on Facebook called Beta Readers and Critique Partners; it was awarded one of the top seven finalists under the category Book Communities: Shaping the Future for the Global Book Community Awards 2020.
To read more content by Garima Nabh, please visit her blog.