I Don’t Belong Here

If you’ve noticed the title from my blog post matches the first Pink song playing on the MixPod below. It’s also the perfect theme song for my WIP, if ever there was one.

So today I’m going to answer the question, “Do you listen to music as you write?”

I wish I could say I stick to one routine. Maybe I’d be more inspirational that way. Instead all I have is the wishy-washy truth. I listen to music when the words are flowing. When the dialogue is snappy and easy and riveting and the plot pieces fall into place like a giant, well-laid-out puzzle board. When the writing is difficult, when I need to focus on something to make sure it comes across in just the right way, the music goes off and the headphones come on (to drown out any and all outside noise).

I honestly will listen to the MixPod playlist every day. Every. Single. Day. When I get to a part where the writing becomes labored I switch it up or turn it off. For the 3 manuscripts I’ve written (can’t believe it’s been that many in a little over a year), a song seems to stand out, emerging through the others, speaking to me and the developing story.

For Nine Days in Joliet, my contemporary romance (the unpublishable one), I listened to WinterSong by Ingrid Michaelson over and over again. I’m talking thousands of times on repeat. Looking back, it made perfect sense for the story I was writing. WinterSong became my muse.

For Dark Tide Rising, I mostly listened to Starlight by Muse. I’m sitting here trying to remember the lyrics to see if they plug into the story, but I honestly can’t remember. I think it was the tempo and beat that had me going, not so much the words. Odd, but it worked.

For my WIP, the song of the manuscript is I Don’t Belong Here by Pink, hands down. I’d never heard the song before a few days ago. I was trying to find something else to link up in the MixPod and sampled the first few seconds of the song. It only took a single line for me to add it. Since then it’s on my computer all day. Yeah, I’m a little hooked.

*Side note: Have you ever met those people who eat the same thing day in and day out for, like, years? They’re content to eat some bland dish like it’s the greatest tasting thing on the planet until one day they just tire of their choice and switch for no apparent reason. Yeah. That’s me. I think I’ve eaten a granola bar for breakfast every morning since college. (We’re talking 8 years, people.)

Anyway, the lyrics just seem to fit right, leading me in the right direction without having a tug of war over where my logical brain wants the story to go versus where It wants to go.

If you listen very carefully to the words of the song you might be able to find out the premise for my book–the black moment. Humor me for a minute: I think everyone’s been denied, broken up with, rejected, etc, at some point in their life. (If you haven’t, lucky lucky you. The rest of us are silently plotting your demise.) It sucks to hear someone say they don’t want to be with you anymore; that they can’t be with you for whatever reason. What if you knew in your gut they were acting in what they thought were your best interests? Wouldn’t that knowledge hurt more than a normal breakup? Because not only are you still being denied, broken up with, rejected, etc, you’re actually having the most important choice of your life taken from you–the choice of who to love.

When Pink sings “I don’t believe you when you say you don’t need me anymore, so don’t pretend to not love me at all” my heroine knows EXACTLY what she’s singin’ about. The complete lyrics are here.

So YES I’m listening to music as I write. Right now. What are you listening to?


One thought on “I Don’t Belong Here

  1. I LOVE Starlight by Muse. In fact, I love Muse period! Great song. And yeah, I totally listen to music when I write. It fuels my muse and helps me get into each scene. I often find myself connecting certain songs I hear throughout the day with my characters. Fun!

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