On Writing

On Writing: What I Listen to When Writing

I have been including more of these music-themed posts recently because I have been doing a lot of writing. It’s me, my computer, my imagination, and my MP3 list. 🙂

I enjoy a lot of different types of music, but the music that I listen to when writing has to meet one very important criteria: I have to enjoy it enough to listen to it over and over and over again. It helps me to “tune out” the hustle-and-bustle of daily life in my household. It keeps me focused on the job at hand (getting the words down on the screen) and inspires me.

One of the artists I have been listening to for years is Chris Isaak. He and his band have the (dubious) honor of being the only musicians I have ever gone to see in concert at least once a year when they tour in the Midwest. (He and the band have won a lot more prestigious honors than this!) The main reason for this is the high quality of the performance. The songs are generally about sadness and heartbreak, which would not make for an up-beat evening, but Chris Isaak and his band spend the evening telling humorous stories and anecdotes between (and sometimes during) the songs. They always seem to have the audience in the grip of hilarity.

Chris Isaak does a “meet-and-greet” at the end of every concert and he will spend a few minutes talking to each fan. Not only is this a wonderful experience on its own, it also has made my games of “Six Degrees of Separation” with my friends very cool.

If you have never played—Six Degrees of Separation is a game based on the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world. You make a chain of “friend of a friend” statements to connect people in a maximum of six steps. John Guare’s play, Six Degrees of Separation, popularized this theory. From the 1993 film:

“I read somewhere that everybody on this planet is separated by only six other people. Six degrees of separation between us and everyone else on this planet. The President of the United States, a gondolier in Venice, just fill in the names.”

So my “Six Degrees of Separation” list generally goes something like this:

I met Chris Isaak after a concert. (He drew a picture of himself with a halo just for me.)
He was in Silence of the Lambs with Anthony Hopkins.
Anthony Hopkins was in Thor with Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston. (This is cool enough right there, but we will go on!)
Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston were in The Avengers with [fill in your favorite here].

Knowing my friends, it is the fact that I can do this for Six Degrees of Separation to Stan Lee that actually lets me win the game.

Enjoy listening! I hope the music inspires you to write.

2 replies »

  1. Agree, their music is great & the shows sound equal, if not better, than recorded works.
    The M&G, though, is a thing of the past. Guess it’s a case of been there/ done that long enough. Besides it slows down their travel to the next city- to get up fresh & rested and do this gig over again for the next crowd. Don’t know how they keep that up, for months on end!


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