Once upon a time, five years ago, I made a story playlist for the first time. It contained a whopping total of 7 songs, and I was obsessed with all of them. After that, I made playlists for every working project! They helped me focus, and I figured out how to add songs that helped me envision scenes and characters and songs that evoked emotions.
But then, in 2017, I ended up with a playlist of 36 songs, and they haven’t done anything for me since.
I think the reasoning for this is twofold. For one, they weren’t actually helping me with the story to begin with. When I look at the stories I finished, the playlists were either made after the fact to help put me in the mood to edit by reminding me of my story on the way to and from work, or they were just made up of my current favorite songs, which makes sense, as those songs make me happy, and thus I was more relaxed, which enabled me to work more effectively later because I wasn’t overburdened by a bunch of randomness. Which is, in fact, the second point.
It’s easy to sift through the story graveyard and find multiple examples that support this theory. That first playlist I made was perfect for the story, but that story currently sits in the graveyard, and I have no intention of digging it back up again. In fact, most of the stories I made playlists for have ended up in the graveyard, or they’ll end up in there soon enough.
When I started making playlists all the time, I ran around my collection of too many songs, adding whatever I thought “fit the mood.” And while that sounds good in theory, the whole process was really just a huge waste of time, “giving me something to do” instead of writing or brainstorming so that I could feel productive without actually being any kind of productive, kind of like when I was making a bunch of story boards on Pinterest. They didn’t actually inspire me to do any kind of writing, not to mention I was starting to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of pictures in some of the folders, and when I realized I spent a whole day one time just rooting for story board pictures on DeviantArt, I knew I needed to stop.
So, I’m not making playlists anymore. I’ll just overplay my current favorite songs or cycle through a playlist, whatever the mood calls for, and then call it a day. After all, it’s the music itself that’s helping, not any specific song.
This is what happens when you compare yourself to other writers too much. You don’t just end up comparing your books to theirs. You end up comparing your editing style, your brainstorming process, and whatever else, to whatever that writer is doing as well. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. You may not realize that listening to music can help put you in the mood to create something until you try it. But that doesn’t mean that I need to run around making playlists. And of course, I only know this for sure because I tried it.
Next week is Christmas, so I’m not posting, even though I won’t be busy, haha, but I will be posting sometime the next week, like around the 30th, New Year’s Eve, or New Year’s Day, I haven’t decided yet. It depends on when I want to want to do my reading wrap up and talk about goals and all of that fun stuff!! 😀 I know. I’m so excited. So, Happy Christmas! Be good. Or not. ^_^