I’m dating myself here, but back in the day I was a big Ally McBeal fan. (I’ve since gone back and attempted to rewatch it. Don’t do it. It’s terrible.) The show was hokey as hell, but it was romantic and it was about a dreamer, and it made really good use of really awful music.
Case in point: Ally’s theme song.
I don’t remember the particulars of the plot, but basically, Ally had this song she played in her head whenever she needed to feel confident and on top of things. And really, it’s not the worst idea in the world.
I’ve written in the past about using music to help me get into my characters’ heads. I use it to block out the world and help me focus on my writing or editing or whatever else I need to do. And recently, I’ve been using it to try and psych myself up when I feel like I have no idea what the hell I’m doing with my life.
I’m not sure about you, but writing is one of those career paths that is lined with self-doubt. Sometimes, I’m smooth and self-assured and the words just pour out of my brain and onto the page. And sometimes, I feel like a no-good waste of space who should go crawl into a hole and die.
Those are the times when a good theme song can come in handy.
So without further ado, here’s my current playlist of songs I use to psych myself up and remind myself that I have just as much right be trying this crazy writing thing as anyone else:
Try – Pink
You gotta get up and try.
Brave – Sara Bareilles
Say what you wanna say and let the words fall out. Honestly, I wanna see you be brave.
You have to be brave to put your soul out there for everyone to read. You have to brave to write the book that’s in your heart instead of just the one you think someone will buy. And that bravery shows in your words. So write them.
Shake It Out – Florence and the Machine
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back so shake him off.
The devil is self-doubt. Shake it off. Keep going.
It’s Time – Imagine Dragons
It’s time to begin, isn’t it?
Yup. It sure is. So open that document and get going.
How about you? Do you have a writer theme song? What else do you do to pysch yourself up when the going gets tough?