I’ve always fancied the idea of living to a soundtrack. Maybe a moody, sweeping track could play over a montage of my day: here I am eating cornflakes – cut to me brushing my teeth – cut to me walking to school – cut to me coming home and sitting at my desk. And sitting. And drinking tea. And sitting. And typing a little. And sitting a bit more, with tea. Etc. Hmm, OK, this part gets less visually interesting, I admit. But maybe the music could add some atmosphere? After all, in my head, there’s all kinds of stuff going on!
I almost always play music when I write. I make incredibly long, mixed-up playlists before I start anything new. At first, the tracks are a way of stopping myself from wandering off and checking Twitter or Girls Heart Books sixty times a minute. If I tell myself, “After this song, I’ll go,” it takes me a lot longer to flit away. Especially if I love the next track.
So I use the playlists to trick myself into staying put, and after a while (usually!), I’m so involved in the story that I don’t want to do anything but write anyway. Then I stop being aware of the music. I tune it out and it becomes a distant soundtrack. Gradually, I whittle my playlists down to certain tracks that work with what I’m writing. I play these on a continuous loop, non-stop for hours. (It’s a good thing I wear headphones!)
Are you a playlist-maker? Would you like a soundtrack to your life? Is there a track that sums up your mood right now – or yesterday, or last week? I’d love to know…