Musings, Musical Chairs, and the Muse

UnknownI’ve mentioned before how my writing process tends to go through phases. Sometimes I write best on the computer, sometimes I write best in a notebook. Unsurprisingly, the same thing happens with my listening preferences. My muse tends to play musical chairs with what music will help me write.

Most of the time, I can get by with listening to my Pandora station. But it’s not ideal for working on Narrator, because the songs are based on my upcoming series, Shadows, Echoes, and Reflections. The stories aren’t exactly similar.

Of course, if I want songs that remind me of Narrator, I’m out of luck. (Unless you know any songs about books within books?) So instead I use songs that remind me of the anime Princess Tutu, which has a lot of similarity to Narrator in plot and themes. Those songs are from Swan Lake and Nutcracker, both by Pyotr Tchaikovsky and both used heavily in Princess Tutu.

When I get sick of that, I listen to music that would have been played on the Titanic. Some of that comes from the Titanic soundtrack (full versions of what the band plays in different scenes), but I also have a CD that my dad picked up just outside Cork. Don’t bother looking for a connection to Narrator, there isn’t one. I just like the Titanic.

And then we come to my latest phase, which is television. Lately I’ve found it extremely difficult to write unless I’ve got a show playing in the background. I stick with something I’ve seen a bunch of times before, which makes me less likely to pay attention. I don’t know why this helps me write. I don’t know if it’s the people talking or the familiarity of the plots or what.

Also, they tend to be murder mysteries of some sort or other: Murdoch Mysteries, Rosemary and Thyme, and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (what I’m using now). I like murder mysteries, but I’ve never wanted to write one. Huh.

So yeah, we’ll see what my next phase turns out to be. As long as I keep writing, no complaints here.


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.