Saturday, May 14, 2016

Writer's Corner: Musical Inspiration

Whew, what a month it's been! I always forget how crazy May gets with all of the girls school projects, our church's Ladies Spring Event, and the end of the school year.

This month, I'm determined to meet the writing goals I've set for myself, so my blogging will be a bit more sporadic. (I just finished one of my deadlines last night and submitted an article for hopeful publication.) :D But I thought I'd drop by and do a little writing-related post for you. ;)

What inspires you to write? Many things inspire me: long walks, brainstorming sessions with friends and family, and photos and drawings for inspiration (thank you, Pinterest!). But above all, music inspires me.

I thought you might enjoy seeing my ultra-cool writing playlist on Spotify. This is my go-to playlist when I'm feeling the strain of writer's block.

I'd like to mention that not all of the songs are from albums, movies, or musicians I can fully endorse. When I look for music to use for inspiration, I'm often searching for certain lyrics, sounds, or emotional effects that put me in the right mood to write a certain scene. A few of the songs are actually mentioned in my book. I love playing them while I write or proofread those scenes. :)

You can see my playlist HERE.

Heh heh, I just realized this playlist is over seven hours long. ;) In my defense, it's been several years in the making. I just add songs here and there as I find new ones that inspire me.

NOTE: I just checked this link in an incognito window and realized that you guys can't see this unless you have a Spotify account. I figured I'd go ahead and keep this up for those of you who do. It looks like you can either create an account through Spotify or Facebook. Of course, I completely understand if you're not comfortable doing so.

For those of you who can't see it, the playlist includes songs by Josh Groban, Pentatonix, Enya, Colton Dixon, Steve Green, Fernando Ortega, Celtic Woman, Mario Frangoulis, Rachel Portman, John Williams, James Horner, and more. I also love listening to classical pieces and instrumental scores from my favorite movies.

And those songs that play a part in my book? The first is THIS version of The Swedish Rhapsody by Hugo Alfven. (This one just makes me smile every time I listen to it.) :) The second is the Valdres March by Johannes Hanssen (THIS Arthur Fieldler and the Boston Pops is my favorite version). And the third is Non ti scordar di me by Ernesto De Curtis. The first version I fell in love with was Russell Watson's, featured on this album, because of its beautiful instrumentation, but it's not anywhere online. So HERE's my second favorite version, sung by Mario Frangoulis.

Here's another bonus for those of you not on Spotify. My Pinterest board, "Music I Love," gives you a pretty good idea of the type of stuff on my playlist.

And anytime I need a reminder of the type of story I want to tell, I watch THIS incredible video, "These Are Written," animated by Full of Eyes on YouTube. The song is written by Patrick and Molly Lockwood. I haven't watched all of Full of Eyes' videos, so I don't know if we're in the same camp completely, but this specific one is such a blessing to me. :) Especially since it takes so much from the book of John, which the girls and I have studied several summers in a row.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

P.S. I apologize that it's been a while since my last "Fan Mail Friday" post. I have another one in the works, but I keep missing my Fridays. Maybe I'll do a "Fan Mail Not-Friday" post or something. ;) More toy reviews are coming, too. :)


Farrah Lily said...

Hi Hannah,
Music inspires me as well! It really helps me to visualize and bring up emotions that I want to focus on and it's amazing how much momentum in our thoughts it can produce. I have never tried Spotify, to be honest...I usually use Pandora. I will have to look into it! I like a lot of the artist you've mentioned. I actually went to see Josh Groban last fall with my mom and sister...his voice is sooo amazing. I recently discovered Celtic Woman as well! I love Celtic music in's so beautiful. Thanks for sharing your inspiration!
I hope you and your family have a nice weekend as well. :)

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Hi Farrah!

I've been pretty pleased with Spotify, although I prefer the paid version to the free version. (When you pay for Spotify, you don't have any commercials and you have no limit on the number of songs you can skip). It has a pretty good selection and has been super helpful for my writing. :)

Wow, how amazing that you got to see Josh Groban in concert! :D I'd love to attend one of his concerts someday. I do get to see Fernando Ortega in concert this summer, so I'm super jazzed about that. :)

Hooray for another Celtic music enthusiast! I love Celtic music, especially when I'm writing. It makes me happy and nostalgic. ;)

Talk to you again soon! :)

jSarie said...

I always find music to be a huge motivator too - and not just for writing, but for almost everything and anything (I have mixes with titles of everything from "House painting mix" to "dog walk music" to "yoga playlist").

I haven't tried Spotify (although my husband has a subscription, so I've heard it in action), but I think I should - maybe this will be the day I finally sign up for an account! :)

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Lol, jSarie, I'm the same way with music. :) I don't have specific playlists for everything, but I do love listening to music while I clean, write, organize, or anything else. :)

If you try Spotify, I'd love to hear what you think. I've only tried Rhapsody and Spotify so far. There are things I like and dislike about each, but for an inexpensive music option, I do like Spotify best. Like I told Farrah, though, I definitely prefer the paid version, just because the ads got really annoying. Plus I like having the freedom to skip more than five songs at a time. ;)

Have a great day!

Mark Patraw said...

I often listen to music when I'm performing various activities, although, if it's a song I really like, that can be more of a distraction to getting things accomplished than an asset, lol. I generally don't look to music for creative inspiration though; it's mostly for entertainment in my case.

The only artist on your playlist that I frequently listen to is Enya (I've had her 1997 "Paint the Sky with Stars" greatest hits CD for almost two decades, and I recently purchased her 2005 "Amarantine" CD as well, which I also really like.) Enya really has an angelic voice and her music has remained consistently high quality over the years in my opinion.

When I was in college, the entire art department emphasized the left/right brain dynamic in their lectures and that you could help get yourself "into" right brain creative mode by listening to music. However, they felt that one should only listen to music without words, or with words in a language that you don't understand, when you're trying to create, as they felt lyrics were too distracting. While I understand where they're coming from, and the science behind it, I never put a whole lot of stock in that theory--sometimes I make art accompanied by music, sometimes in silence, and I can't say there's really ever been a noticeable difference in the results.

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Great thoughts, Mark. :) I really like Enya myself.

Interestingly enough, there are times when I do find the lyrics of my writing playlist too distracting, especially when I'm trying to fine-tune a chapter. On those days, I love listening to Enya because many of her songs are in a different language. Others have vague enough lyrics that I don't get caught up listening to them. The tone of her music is also perfect for the type of writing I do. So I can see where your art department is coming from, at least to some extent.

When I'm in the super early writing stages, I don't have to concentrate as much, and music with lyrics doesn't bother me. :)

I also love using this playlist when I'm working on my concept art for my characters. :)

Thanks for stopping by!