I loved talking about week inspiration and motivation on the podcast this week. This is one of my favorite topics because it means I get to go back to the things that make me excited to write, and read or listen to them again. It’s a good way just to start noticing what is working for you – and maybe what isn’t.
This morning, while writing, I noticed how much I was loving Bill Evans’s album Everybody Digs Bill Evans – a great album. When that finished, I went on to Bonobo, a totally different type of music, but the album Migration really gets me into a good writing place. It’s a mix of melodic and some beats that make me feel cheerful and creative. Lately, I’ve also been writing to Philip Glass’s Piano Works, and before that I just listened to Mendelsohn’s Songs Without Words on repeat.
I can’t write to music with words (although I can listen to mellow and folky music at my day job). In college, I played through an old CD of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture – the one with the yellow label on the front and a canon – literally hundreds of times to write a paper in college. It also had a couple other Russian composers; I guess that was helpful for all my Slavic Studies classes.
(As an aside, I have started to feel sort of annoyed at how many playlists I have been listening to, curated or automated by Spotify, and am trying to consciously listen to albums. Have you ever felt that? I just feel like I’m not really listening to music anymore – more like I am just sitting in a lobby with random music on. I like the wholeness of an album. But maybe that just makes me super old.)
All that is to say, music is one of those things that can make a big difference in my motivation/inspiration to work.
And, despite having said all the above about playlists, I have a playlist of music I work to here on Spotify, if anyone’s interested. I like following other actual humans’ playlists; probably my favorite is Teju Cole’s Jetlag playlists, although he is in general a good music curator.
We’d love to hear your favorite writing music!