Monday, July 4, 2011

Music Helps Me Write

Three of the songs played at my brother's funeral (years ago) often bring about strong feelings. When my parents divorced (YEARS ago), my sister hated country music because it made her think of Mom. It made her sad. When you hear a song you love, you might want to sing out loud or get up and dance.

Music is powerful. I love music. And I love to write. Put the two together and you get poetry. Pure language at its finest. I don't necessarily need music in order to spill words onto the page, but I try to incorporate musical elements into my writing. Music and poetry have a lot in common. And picture books especially often have musical qualities. Here's how you can use music to make your writing stronger:

  1. Listen to music, sing it, memorize the words to your favorite songs. Let the rhythms and repetitions get ingrained in your soul.
  2. Read picture books. Look for rhythms and repetitions.
  3. Create rhythms.
  4. Use repetition.
  5. Read literary novels. The language in this genre is often more rich than in other genres (such as romance or mystery, etc.).
  6. Play with children. Listen to them. Laugh with them.
  7. Dance.
  8. Use a varied amount of alliteration, assonance, and onomatopoeia.
  9. Use vivid imagery.
  10. And above all, tell a good story. Some of the best songs tell great stories!
Have fun! And Happy 4th of July!

What's your favorite type of music? Or some of your favorite artists?

Keep on keepin' on...


  1. My favorite type of music is classical--I listen to it every day, most of the time. :)

    Happy Independence Day!

  2. It really depends on what I'm writing and on my mood. I have a favorite Sting album that works a lot of the time, but when I need power I listen to the soundtrack from Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet. If I really need to concentrate, I have an album of Gregorian chants. When I need to clean my office, I put on Aerosmith and turn it up loud!

  3. Loved your tentips. Love most music: baroque,classical,romantic, popular,bluegrass,doowop, chamber music,symphonic,ethnic,sonatas etc etc.

    Hope you had a wonderful Independence day.

  4. My favorite music is country, pop, rock, and a combination of the above. Favorite artists: Jewel, Erasure, Jason Mraz, Josh Turner, Train, Plain White T's, Alanis Morrissette, and that's just a very small sampling.

    Thanks, guys!


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