You may remember the post I did not long ago for Teens Can Write Too! where I discussed music’s influence on my writing. It was a lot of fun to do, but I’m starting to realize that I really only started to scratch the surface- and I missed another really handy website for writers that’s really worth a visit! It’s not technically music, but it’s pretty similar, and I find it SUPER helpful.
Why should I write with music?
Music is a way of expressing yourself in a way that really can’t be accomplished through just words. A writer can approach that, but in the end, music (good music) achieves a sense of intimacy that you just can’t get through words on a page. It’s like ultimate first person point of view, in a way. When you listen to a good song, you know what the artist is feeling.
Take a closer look at the lyrics you love to see what I mean. A lot of the time, lyrics can seem rather plain on their own. Relatable, beautiful, but plain. Combine them with music and you achieve something amazing.
Take Migraine by twenty one pilots as an example.
Am I the only one I know, waging my wars behind my face and above my throat? Shadows will scream that I’m alone, but I know we’ve made it this far, kid.
The lyrics are great- they perfectly carry the sense of the song. About feeling alone and helpless, but still hopeful. Even so, you can’t truly understand without combining it with the music. The phenomenon is difficult to explain, and I really don’t have the words to do so.
But take a closer look at the songs you love and you’ll see what I mean.
Anyway, you’re probably wondering what I’m getting at here. If you can’t achieve the emotion of music through writing alone, then why does it matter?
I’m not saying that music is in any way “better” than writing. They’re different mediums, and they have different advantages. They’re both amazing and beautiful in their own ways- and, when done well, they’re able to literally save lives.
As I said, they’re different mediums. But that doesn’t mean that one can’t influence the other.
Have you ever looked at a picture and wanted to write a story inspired by it? Or seen a person and wanted to write a story about them?
That is, in a way, what music can help you achieve with writing.
Because of what I discussed earlier- music’s ability to express feelings that can’t be achieved through words alone- music really does help, especially with mood and tone. Music allows you to reach deep inside of yourself and find things that you’d never even realized you were feeling and to put those things into words. To explain that (taking Migraine as an example again) yes, you’re sad, and life is hard, and messed up a lot of the time, but there is still hope– because, yes, we’ve made it this far, kid.
When you’re writing, it can be hard to get the emotional depth that is necessary to really connect with a character. To not only explain that you’re feeling something, but why you’re feeling it and how you’re feeling it and all those other little things that go into something as complex as emotion.
If you’re having troubles with mood and tone, then try writing with music- it’ll really help. And if you’re not having trouble? Try writing with music anyway.
Okay, okay, I get that music is helpful, but what music should I listen to?
There are lots of ways to decide on what you want to listen to while you write.
What do you like?
Even if the mood doesn’t perfectly fit what you’re writing, I’ve found that listening to something you love and enjoy can really help inspire you. So choose your favorite album on your iPod. Or try a station based off of your favorite band on Pandora. It doesn’t really matter- just find something you like and run it in the background while you play.
This is really helpful when you’re tired or unenthusiastic or just not motivated. It can wake you up a little, and inspire you.
Another way to choose what to listen to is just setting up playlists based on the plot, the characters, or the mood you’re reaching for. Like I discussed earlier, it can help you dig a little deeper and reach depth that you probably couldn’t otherwise achieve. Choose songs that remind you of whatever you’re basing the playlist off of- try to consider both the lyrics and the general feel of the song.
Basically, don’t be afraid to experiment and mess around a little. Find out what works for you, and- more importantly- what you enjoy. I discussed a couple different websites to use in my last post (the TCWT one that I linked to earlier), so if you’re having trouble finding one that you like, then you can check out my earlier post for ideas.
Enough about the music, though! I want to know about that super awesome website you were talking about!
The super awesome website I was talking about is called mynoise.net and I really don’t know how I ever survived without it.
My Noise is, basically, a noise generator website- but there’s way more to it than that. I’ll get to it in a second.
The generators on My Noise are for three main uses- meditation, sound blockers, and atmosphere. For writing, it’s probably the noise blockers and the atmospheres that you’ll want to focus on (the meditative sounds are pretty distracting while you’re trying to focus.
But what makes My Noise any different from other white noise generators and stuff?
I’m glad you asked! The main difference is that My Noise has almost unlimited options. Here are some screenshots of some of their available generators:
That’s a lot of choices for different noises to listen to, huh? But wait! There’s more!
You can also combine noises. So, say that you want to listen to a fireplace but you also really want some rain and maybe a purring cat. Or maybe you want a creepy soundscape alongside your RPG Dungeon sound effects. Just click “Super Generator” and you can combine up to five different noises!
And as if that weren’t enough, you can even customize the individual generators. My Noise lets you adjust different sound levels based on the pitch and/ or type of noise. For example, you can make your creepy soundscape higher or lower pitched based on mood. Or you can make it so that your coffee shop noises have more dishes clattering and less people chattering.
What if you want to listen to noises but you’re also in the mood for nice music in the background? You can do that too! There’s a volume adjuster inside the generator that lets you turn down the noise volume while keeping whatever music you’re playing at the same volume as it was before.
This all seems really great, but I still have more questions!
Great! Just let me know in the comments!