Music and the Creative Process

I was recently asked by a writer friend to respond to this question (below), and given the January theme of creativity, I thought I'd share my answer here. If you're inclined, please share your own responses in the comments! 


99% of the time, I write alone and in silence. That said, I’ll add that some large percentage of my non-writing time is filled with music. And some amount of that time is filled with bad singing and (yes, I’ll own it) not-half-bad dancing. I sing in the car all the time, and I dance like a fool around my house whenever I get the chance. Because here’s the thing. I once heard a writer at a conference talk about using other artistic pursuits as a way of maintaining her connection with the kind of free-flowing creative mindset that can become elusive at the keyboard, when the job of writing is a daily requirement. And I totally agree. I love to sing and dance anyway, but more to the point, I believe in the tangible benefits of putting myself into that creative mindset on a regular basis, where there are no mistakes, no revisions required, no deadlines, and no audience to pass judgement. For the woman I mentioned above, it was knitting that got her there. Maybe for someone else, it’s doodling, or painting, or designing roller coasters. For me, it all flows from my love of music, and more specifically, from the way I use music to make a private fool of myself, every chance I get. 


  1. For me it's dancing, getting outside on a walk and sewing...all help release the creative juices. I've solved many a plot point or character bit when not trying to do so!

  2. Oh, man, you and I are the same about music.


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