Musical Inspiration for Writing

Music and writing are the two branches of the artistic oak tree that stand the strongest in my life. While I love and admire all forms of creativity, those two are my heart and soul. Even though writing and music are two very different entities, they really do go hand in hand. The poetry of lyrics along with harmonies and tempos are one of my biggest inspirations when it comes to creative writing, and I’m just one of many, many writers who use music to grow and develop our craft. 

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Spotify is one of the best writing tools I have in my arsenal. It’s extremely user friendly and you can make a playlist for all of your projects, moods, pretty much anything you want. All art is emotional and music is no exception. With the help of an epic orchestra piece, you feel ready to fight (or write about) a glorious battle. Music can also help you connect to emotions you aren’t experiencing in your everyday life, but have to convey on paper. An angsty rock song can help you connect to a character who is feeling angry or a heartfelt love song can give you insight into how a character’s heart is soaring or breaking. 

I have a playlist for the three main projects I’ve worked on, two of which are stand alone novels I’m preparing for self publication and the other is for my YA fantasy series that is still in progress (Yes, the one I’ve been writing forever lol). Within these playlists are songs that not only describe the moods in particular scenes but my characters. I make sure to have at least one song that fits the personality and mindsets of my main characters and my lead secondary characters. Not only does this help me get into their heads, but it also gives me an outlet to put another element of my style into the writing. 

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Nothing gives me a stronger motivation to write than when I’m driving in the car or I have a playlist on shuffle at home and a song that is linked to one of my projects comes on. I’m instantly transported to another world and I want nothing more than to sit down and connect with the characters. 

Five Favorite Writing Locations

  1. Bodies of water. There’s something magical about the water. Whether you’re sitting in the sand next to the roaring ocean waves or in the pebbles next to a cobalt blue lake, it’s definitely a religious experience. If I could be anywhere in the world to write, it would either be on Ocean Beach in San Francisco or in the trees overlooking Lake Tahoe. Watching the ripples of the tide brings instant inspiration, like a creative cleanse. Us humans are 60% water after all, so it only makes sense that we are naturally drawn to bodies of water. Gravitational forces lead us around for a purpose, so we might as well create some art on the journey.
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2. My home office. I love my office. I love it so much I wrote an entire blog post about it (https://mysticquill.com/2020/06/10/create-the-perfect-space/). There’s something special about a space that’s designed just for you, decorated by you FOR you. It’s the little things that help drive us to create. Whether it be a unique painting on the wall or a motivational quote you write for yourself, there’s no place like home.

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3. Coffee shops. Coffee shops are poetic. The smell of roasted coffee beans grinding up to make the perfect little shot of espresso. The single person table shoved in the corner of the room, right next to an outlet. The dimmed lighting. It’s literally the perfect setting for an intimate conversation with a friend and to read (or write) an amazing book. I can spend hours at a local coffee shop or cafe with my headphones plugged in, typing away as fast as my fingers will carry me. I always have a cup of caffeination next to me while I work anyway, and as much as I love working from home, it’s always nice to have a change of scenery.

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4. The park. There’s no comparison for fresh air and the park is the perfect place to step out of your comfort zone. When I was in college, I did all my studying in the library and all my writing in the park. Nestled up under the shade of a massive oak tree, a light breeze blowing through the leaves overhead creating a soft lullaby. Friendly squirrels coming up to say hello, watching dogs chase after balls, couples strolling down the walking paths hand in hand. Can you think of anything more romantic?

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5. In bed. This is my go to when my husband has friends over on a weekend night, but I still have work to get done. Since my office is right off the living room (and I get easily distracted), it’s easier to hide away in my bedroom when that pesky daily word count has yet to be made. Our beds are one of the coziest and safest places in the world, and the perfect location to make our dreams come true. After all, that is where we create them, so why not go back to the source to manifest them!

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Summer Wreath Tutorial

A wreath is such a festive and creative addition to your front door, and not just during the winter time! Wreaths have been used by various cultures since ancient times in southern Europe, primarily Greece and Rome. Modern day wreaths are used to symbolize winter holidays such as Yule and Christmas, the harvest season, and pretty much every holiday in between. I personally love wreaths to symbolize the seasons because it’s one of the first things people see when they approach your home. They are a warm and welcoming way to invite your guests in and show off your creative spirit. 

I change my wreaths up four times a year during spring, summer, fall and winter. Recently, I took the purple and yellow tulips and little bird’s nest with robin’s eggs off my grape vine wreath and replaced them with summer decor.

My Spring theme wreath

While the pre-made wreaths you can get at the store are absolutely stunning, they’re also expensive and not much room for customization. So I opted for a bare, brown vine wreath and every season, I add my own special touch. 

Summertime to me is all about citrus and yellow and orange flowers, so that’s the route I took. The bright colors from the embellishments stand out boldly against the white door of my rental home and are easily seen from the street, so even those who are just driving by can admire my handiwork from afar. 

Supplies you need:

Plain grape vine wreath (Available year round at Michael’s). 

A wreath hanger (I got mine for a few dollars at Wal Mart). 

Decorative flowers and embellishments of your choice

Small floral wire cutters

Floral tape (Optional). 

I trim the decorative flowers so that most of the stem is gone but there is still enough stem left to tuck into the grapevines and hold the flowers into place. You want to make sure the flowers are poked into the wreath snug enough that they don’t fall out or blow away when it gets windy but you also don’t want the stems to stick out the other side of the wreath. You can always use floral tape to help hold them into place, but I’ve never had an issue with sticking the flowers in snug. I stay away from hot gluing the flowers and decor into place because then you can’t reuse the wreath for the next holiday/season. It’s much easier to store a small bag of wreath decorations for each holiday than it is to store an entire wreath for each holiday. I also try to decorate the wreath in quarters rather than bunch everything together. You want your wreath to look full but you also want it to look symmetrical.

Half way there!

Get creative! This is your time to use whatever flowers and additional decor you want! There are all kinds of examples on Pinterest to use for inspiration. You don’t even have to use flowers if you’d rather use a garden hose or ribbon, whatever your heart desires and your brain inspires. 

Finished product