Playlist Complete; or Music To Scribble Words By

(Post-A-Day Challenge, Day 12)

Okay, I can now check another item off of my NaNoWriMo “to do” list:  I’ve finished rebuilding my playlist.  I think, if you clicky on the thingy below, you should be able to see a spreadsheet list of all the tracks.  Sadly, at 2,500+ songs, it’s a little too long for me to just throw the actual music out onto the web for y’all to enjoy with me.

(Or, alternatively, go to Google Docs to see the whole thing.)

So there it is.  I make no apologies for any of it; I like all of this music, and that’s what counts.

Of course, once I’d finished it, the first thing I did was to export it to a spreadsheet.  That way, should something happen to corrupt or delete the list again, I’d at least have that much to help me rebuild it.

Imagine my surprise when, as soon as I hit “Save”, my music management program opened up the last folder in which I’d saved something.  And in that folder was one file…named “Nanoplaylist2010.xls”.

Yep.  I’d apparently had the same brilliant idea about saving a copy of the list last year.  But in the meantime, I’d completely forgotten about it.  If I’d remembered, I could have saved myself a great deal of angst when it came to rebuilding.  But then I’d have had less to blog about.  So I guess it all works out.

For what it’s worth, this year’s list has 500 more songs on it than last year’s.  Either I’ve acquired some new music in the meantime, or I’m less picky about what I included, or (most likely) some of each.

I expect the list will get pared down a bit as I go along.  Last year’s did, too.  When I’m sampling tracks to find things I think will work, I can usually only give each song about six seconds. (Otherwise, I’d still be here long after November was over!)  So sometimes, something that sounded great when sampled actually turns out to be not quite so nice when it pops up in actual play.  My main criterion is that the music should not be jarring or distracting.  For the most part, that means instrumentals.  Since I have a large (13,000+ tracks and growing) music library, I don’t always remember which tracks are vocals and which are instrumentals.  So sometimes I accidentally throw a vocal into the mix, and I don’t know it until it comes up during play.  It’s an easy matter to weed it out, though.

Another thing I’ll weed out are songs that are discordant, loud, or grating in any way.  So while I have some ambient music that makes great listening otherwise, if it makes me clench my teeth or wince, it’s out.

And then there are the songs that are too quiet or too boring.  Those are fine when I want to be lulled to sleep, but not so great when I’ve got a word count to meet.

Oh, and for those who care, the music management program I use is MediaMonkey.  It lets me look up and tag music, add cover art, rip CDs, and synch with my iPOD.  I like it much better than iTunes.

So what music inspires other people to write?  What kinds of music/specific artists can you not stand to listen to while writing?


About sheilamcclune

Aspiring author, sharing the tidbits I've learned along the way.
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2 Responses to Playlist Complete; or Music To Scribble Words By

  1. M. Howalt says:

    Glad to know I’m not the only one doing this. :)
    I use iTunes, but the idea is pretty much the same. This year I’m going to a lot of “epic” intstrumental music, some rock and a little bit of country-ish music. Last year was very different, but so was the story. :)

    • Hmm, I usually don’t get so “fine tuned” as to have separate playlists for separate books. Though I do find that when I’m writing a story set in the present or future, a bit of rock ‘n’ roll is okay; but if the story’s set in the past, it has to be instrumental. Not necessarily historical, but there can’t be words. Weird, huh?

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