Remember that episode of Ally McBeal where Tracey Ullman (don’t you love Tracey Ullman?) played Ally’s therapist and told her she needed a theme song? As I was working on chapter eight last week (work that continues this week), I was listening to a dance mix compiled by my friend Max, who finds some of the oddest things, like a disco remix of Stevie Nicks’ "Stand Back." As I was typing away and tapping my foot, the lines, "One man did not fall/well he asked me for my love that was all" made me think, "That kind of describes Joel’s relationship with—" Well, I won’t say with whom, as that might give things away, but it was enough of a thought to make me create a playlist in iTunes and start dragging songs over to it. Before long, I had a rough soundtrack for my book.
Sometimes (most of the time) I need near absolute silence in order to be able to write anything requiring more attention and concentration than a grocery list. This does not make me an easy person to be around when I’m writing. Every once in a while, though, when I’m lucky enough to fall into a particular groove in my writing, a certain song will come up, either by happenstance or design, that sets the rhythm for my writing. When that does happen, it’s almost worse than the need for silence: It feels like I have to play that song over and over in order to keep my train of thought moving along the tracks. (Heaven help anyone in earshot.)
Does your writing have a soundtrack?