Music and Writing: Finding a Motivating Melody
Authors are fantastic complainers. With a career in the arts, griping that one cannot create work of great measure without great inspiration, some ephemeral muse to guide the pen to elevated states, is all part of the business, and it’s accepted without retort. A web content writer, on the other hand, does not share in the luxury of leisurely awaiting the warm motivating caress of one of Homer’s Olympian Graces; there are blog articles and phone bills due, and the literary magic must spill forth at the considerably less lofty beck and call of the Internet writer. But when a blogger settles down to a clean white sheet of digital paper, how does she coax forth the fickle Fates to her fingers on command? She plays the siren song of a motivating melody.
Music has long been recognized as an inspirational medium for work of all types. Teachers routinely expound on the brain-stimulating powers of Mozart, and there are numerous studies suggesting the Mozart Effect is real, if merely temporary. But Mozart, and classical music collectively, isn’t necessarily the only stirring station available to writers who want a boost beyond silence; there’s a variety of dulcet harmonic tones that increase and improve output, including ambient and nature sounds; it’s just a matter of finding which composition soothes each individual beast.
Creating the Perfect Ambience
Ambient music, by its very definition, is meant to construct a certain mood or environment subtly, and in the background. This is ideal for writers, who don’t want distracting lyrics or thumping danceable bass pouring into their ear drums while discussing the merits of cloud storage for the average housewife. No, the soothing synthesized rhythms of Aphex Twin, The Irresistible Force and Biosphere, for example, gently induce a relaxing atmosphere that gives the mind free reign to effortlessly unearth a pithy quip about the humorous connection between clumsy drunken starlets and oversized designer handbags for the latest gossip blog.
Not all ambient music genres are equally meditative in nature. The overly galvanizing effect of techno is probably best left on the dance floor, rather than played to heighten artistic functionality.
The Comforting Embrace of Nature
Condescendingly referred to as derivative of Ambient, nature sounds — regardless of their origin or seating arrangement in the lecture hall of cool — provide web content writers an excellent source of palliative background noise. The distinction between the two is minor; nature sounds are as readily ignorable as they are fascinating to focus on, as much as Ambient beeps and boops, but the whale vocals, wave-break bass and arthropodal wind instruments are an earth-bound chorus rather than a futuristic digital descant. Choosing one or the other for literary inspiration depends purely on individual preference.
Tried, Tested and Mostly True
Still, the most scientifically sound melodies for mental massage are classical tunes. Mozart isn’t the only option, though that’s the basis for the studies. Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi and Chopin are all highly recommended master composers with a fine and varied selection of works that can keep any blogger dutifully spinning listicle yarns about inconspicuous zombie apocalypse preparedness well into financial stability.
Though many writers love composing in complete silence — where their minds have space to craft illuminating metaphors and incontestable arguments without interruption — the helping hand of harmony may inspire abstract thinking that leads to elevated work. No one expects the next great American novel via blog post, but better work means higher wages, and that’s something any pay-per-word writer can support.
Ashley B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.