Thoughts of a Creative Writing Major

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As a Creative Writing major, I love to talk with other writers about the process of writing. Wait! Don't click away yet! I'm doing it in parts.

Obviously, in order to write anything, you need to have an idea first. What do you do in order to get your mind working? For me, music is a big part of it. I listen to different genres because each evokes a different feeling. The type of music I listen to depends on what mood I want. So if I wanted to write something angsty I might listen to Linkin Park.

I also try the 'Look at an image and get inspired" trick, but it isn't as helpful as music is.

Do any of you have any special tricks/ideas to get writing?


I always listen to music when I write, but the older and more distracted I get the more I find music without words to be useful (I love Pandora or, where they shuffle the music for you - and Philip Glass almost puts me into a writing trance). I also find copious amounts of coffee will get me going, too. When I was an undergrad and did more creative stuff, being outside and going for walks always gave me the kind of clarity that inspired me to go home and write.

DJ Beckage said:

I have a digital recorder on my cell phone and anytime I come up with something to write, I just leave myself a quick blip. Then, once I'm able to sit down and write, I can really dissect what I've left for myself. Sometimes the meaning I original had doesn't work and I have to go in another direction but having that little time capsule to go back to is immensely helpful.

Steph wilson said:

music helps when I am in the mood to just allot an hour or two just to writing. But usually I will just go everywhere with a pen. I like DJ's idea of the cell phone but I prefer going through the motions of writing ...I also hate talking on the phone hehe.

Kayla Lesko said:

I just downloaded Pandora today on my iPad, it's definitely my new favorite app.

Kayla Lesko said:

I've often thought about using a recording, only problem is that I can slur my words and talk too fast. It would be easier than having to get out a pen and notepad to write it down.

Do you record just a quick summary or maybe one or two major scenes you had in mind?

Kayla Lesko said:

I agree with you there. lol

MatthewMoore said:

I agree with what Doc W said. Coffee is your friend. It’s said that Voltaire sometimes drank over fifty cups of coffee a day! I don’t recommend this much, of course, but let me know if you ever attempt it.

I like non-invasive music as well. I find Mozart’s Requiem a good writing soundtrack, and unless you can understand Latin, it doesn’t interfere. Find movies that you like and pay attention to the soundtrack, sometimes there are surprises waiting that will fuel your words. Ever listen to the 28 Days Later soundtrack? My favorite band/group to write to is Godspeed You Black Emperor. It has a tranquil and atmospheric quality about it with few words. Try it out.

Kayla Lesko said:

Godspeed You Black Emperor is pretty awesome. I'll definitely need to add that to my list. I've never actually seen 28 Days Later, but I've heard bits and pieces of the soundtrack.

Haha I definitely like the coffee idea! I always write best when I'm hyper-active, so a lot of caffeine helps me to write. Another thing that can get me writing, besides listening to music, is a book I have that is full of Weekly World News stories. It has so many eccentric stories from Bat Boy, who was found in a West Virginian cave, to Mr. Rogers' ghost terrorizing children. I don't know what it is, but those bizarre stories kick start my imagination.

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