Music has always been a huge part of my writing process, and I rarely ever write without the stereo on or my headphones in. It focuses me. It helps me understand my characters. It helps me get into the plot of the story. When I find myself in a writing rut, most times it just means I need to turn on some music, close my eyes, and let the inspiration come. But then the question becomes: what kind of music do I listen to?
What you listen to depends on what kind of writer you are. Sometimes, it’s good to listen to the type of music that gets you jazzed up, so that you can push yourself back into your writing. Other times, it helps to match the music to the tone of the story. The latter option has been a major part of my writing process for my current manuscript, because music is part of how my main character relates to her past and how she rediscovers what she gave up and the dreams that she still has. Most of the manuscript’s soundtrack includes 90s grunge bands (as that was her first intro to music back in ’91) and classic rock. But I also have bands that are current, who I relate to and who also match the story of my main character and the tone of manuscript.
One group that has been instrumental (no pun intended) in this process, The Aster Pheonyx Project, is a fantastic local band (or, at least, local to me in good ol’ NJ) whose music I fell in love with this past summer while I was in the middle of writing my manuscript. Their songs are raw and full of emotion and rocking beats. The vocals, raspy, beautiful, and performed by the fantabulous Aster Pheonyx (who plays a mean guitar as well), are perfectly matched with the sometimes sweet, sometimes wailing, and always moving guitar riffs by Carolyn Marosy. Essentially, it’s the best type of music to lose yourself in, full of seemingly unearthly passion and a very strong dose of humanity. I started listening to APP more intently as inspiration for a make-believe opening band that my character is taken to see by her love interest. I needed something hip and fresh, but with the live (if I say psychosis, will you understand what I mean?) of the grunge music my character fell in love with in the past. The Aster Pheonyx Project was truly, the perfect marriage. When I saw them live a few weeks later, their performance matched, and maybe even exceeded all of my expectations.
If you like what you hear, don't be afraid to stop by cd baby (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/theasterpheonyxproject) to dowload some songs or buy their equally shnazzy cd Blizzards and Broken Hearts.
As fellow creative folks trying to make our way in the world through our art, it's always important to remember to support each other. No, they did not ask me to post this. It's just a thank you for unknowingly helping me to make my manuscript all that it can be.
Have a lovely weekend one and all.
<3 Gina Blechman