Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Unexpected Inspirational Qualities of Country Music

So somehow, my country radio, which I listen to in the car sporadically, has inspired me to write again.

After 6 months.

And mind you, this is my W.I.P. Labyrinth, the high-fantasy, combat-heavy, dystopia book.

Not your typical country picnic, yeah?

I'm not questioning it very much right now, though.  I just wrote over a 1000 words in an hour, after being unable to write more than a few hundred for the last half year.

So usually, I listen to battle soundtracks from Lord of the Rings, Narnia, etc. for this kind of writing.  I mean, you kind of need intense music when writing intense scenes with your mythical Minotaur beastie, right?

Now, I'm not one of those people who are violently opposed to country.  I listen to it every once in a while, even sing it sometimes.  I like it for certain moods.  BUT.  I don't think I've ever used it for writing.  

So now, after having a such a productive writing session while listening to the same country song on repeat for 72 minutes, I'm left wondering why it was so effective. 

(By the way, the song was "Doin' What She Likes," by Blake Shelton.)  ;)

What is it about country music that can work so well for writing?  I've come to a few conclusions. 

1) Country music tells a story, too.  

One of my favorite things about country music is that it tells a story, possibly more than any other genre of music is known for.  Each verse contributes to and develops the plot.  The chorus is dynamic, often changing by the end.  There's a change of emotion, twist at the end, realization - something that makes it dynamic.  

So perhaps this helps my writer brain get into the storytelling mood, too?  It's basically like listening to a 4-minute plot model condensed into a few verses passionate about trucks, drinks, and women.  A great example, really.

2) Country music has real emotion.

Those country haters out there may disagree. But honestly, these lyrics hold a lot of emotion.  There is clear desire  present in every song.  The singer is obviously motivated, has a goal, regrets something, etc.  In my case, the emotion in the song made me want to write a scene with those emotions in my own story.  I'm not even sure how it came into my head, because I haven't thought seriously about Labyrinth for a few months, or even tried to work on it.  But I just found myself being able to connect to the emotions in these songs, even if I hadn't experienced that truck myself.  And then somehow, I was thinking of my characters and for the first time in forever (SIIIIIIIING MY FRENS, LET IT GO AND JUST SIIIIIIING), I wanted to play around with them and write something.

-   -   -   -

...Is it even grammatically legal to have a list with only two things on it?  Oh well, that's about all I can figure out about it at the moment, and I think it gets to the heart of the situation.  I have no idea if this new inspiration will last beyond tonight, but I'm grateful for it right now, in this moment.  I've been trying to worry less about the future lately.  Months without writing inspiration has made me realize I shouldn't force it.  Sometimes it goes away for a while.  

And then sometimes, it just pops back up again, out of no where?  (Honestly, I haven't been believing that myself lately.  I've been started to wonder if I should even be trying to write books at all.  It's hard to go without inspiration for that long.)  But apparently, it really can just come back "just like that" sometime.  

So if you're waiting around for inspiration, that's just fine.  It's lovely.  Keep waiting for a while.  Bake some cookies while you wait, or something. But don't give up on a dream.

Dreams are precious things.  

~Sincerely, your dream
Keep dreaming, my friends, and listen to country music.  

Or at least, consider listening to a completely different genre than what you're actually writing.  See what happens.  ;)

(P.S.  This country music is amazing.  One night alone and it inspired 1000 words on the WIP and an 800-word post.  xD  10/10 would listen on repeat again for 5 million years.)

Are you a country music fan?  No?  Has anyone else had a heavenly break-though with country music, or am I a lonely penguin in this cruel writing world?  What do you usually listen to when writing?

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