Welcome fantasy author, Alina Sayre, who’s just released The Illuminator Rising, Book 3 of The Voyages of the Legend. Alina stops by today with a guest post on writing to music, a topic dear to my heart! More about Alina, The Illuminator Rising, and a chance to win the book below. But first . . . And a one, and a two, take it away, Alina!
Writing to Music
Growing up, I was one of those people who needed complete silence to get anything done. Obviously, that’s not the most practical habit, and I credit my younger brother with expanding my ability to focus in the midst of noise. Now, I actually enjoy—sometimes even need—music in order to get anything done. But to keep a clear line between cranking up creativity and cranking up procrastination, I have a few rules about how to write to music.
Rule #1: To be productive, I have to choose the music playing while I work. I find Starbucks soundtracks more distracting than helpful—usually because I don’t know the songs and start listening to them instead of writing.
Rule #2: Make a playlist. Each of the books I’ve written has its own dedicated soundtrack. I pick out some of the songs ahead of time, but most I collect as the book’s tone takes shape. It’s really fun to see what’s come together for each book. Book 1, The Illuminator’s Gift, used a lot of soundtracks and some Celtic music. Book 2, The Illuminator’s Test, used more choral songs. The Illuminator Rising, my just-released third book, is a really eclectic mixture, including a smattering of Middle Eastern and Spanish sounds. My all-time favorite writing composer is Ludovico Einaudi, whose instrumental compositions are classical enough to help me focus, but enough like a soundtrack to provide imaginative spark. With a play count of over 300 on my iTunes, the song “Ora” now gives me a Pavlovian impulse to write!
Rule #3: I (almost) only work to instrumental songs or lyrics in a foreign language. If there are English words, I’m almost guaranteed to get distracted, or maybe even start typing the lyrics of the song instead of the scene I’m supposed to be writing! Instrumental music creates a space for me to imagine without putting words in my head.
Rule #4: Turn up the music louder than the distractions. Especially when it’s late in the day, or late in the writing process, or I’m just having one of those days when every squirrel is a welcome distraction, cranking up the music can help get me back on task.
Rule #5: Sometimes, no music. When it comes down to tasks that take deep focus—writing a hundred-word summary of my book, for instance—sometimes I just need to stay home, shut the door, and turn off the music for an atmosphere of complete concentration. I can turn it on again when I come up for air J
Do you write to music? What are some of your personal rules?
Synopsis of The Illuminator Rising, Book 3 of The Voyages of the Legend:
Driven from their home island of Rhynlyr, Ellie and her friends must solve a riddle to find the survivors of the Vestigia Roi. But instead of a safe haven, they discover a hopeless band of refugees paralyzed by fear. Strengthened by new allies and new gifts, the crew of the Legend faces dangers like never before. Can they escape being shot out of the sky, falling over the Edge of the world, or being engulfed by urken armies long enough to rally the Vestigia Roi? And can they rekindle a fire from the ashes of the One Kingdom before Draaken takes over the world?
Advance praise for The Illuminator Rising:
“A thrilling read…[Sayre] has a flair for being able to capture the interest of a reader and hold onto it.”
-Readers’ Favorite, 5-star review
For a chance to win a copy of The Illuminator Rising, leave a comment below! I’ll randomly draw a winner for Alina to contact with the book.
About Alina Sayre:
Alina Sayre began her literary career chewing on board books and has been in love with words ever since. Now she gets to work with them every day as an author, educator, editor, and speaker. Her first novel, The Illuminator’s Gift, won a silver medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, and all three books in The Voyages of the Legend series have received 5-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite. When she’s not writing, Alina enjoys hiking, crazy socks, and reading under blankets. She does not enjoy algebra or wasabi. When she grows up, she would like to live in a castle with a large library.
Follow Alina and her writing here!
Readers who want to follow Alina on her Illuminator Rising blog tour, here are the other stops!
June 8: Jenn Castro (jenncastro.com)-Book 3 announcement with synopsis and cover
June 9: Margaret Bloom (webloomhere.blogspot.com)-Book 1 review, Book 3 announcement with synopsis and cover, giveaway
June 10: Publication day!!! Announcement on alinasayre.com
June 11: Angela Wallace (angelawallace.wordpress.com)-guest post
June 12: W.R. Gingell (wrgingell.com)-guest post
June 13: Rabia Gale (rabiagale.com/blog)-Book 1 review, Book 3 announcement with synopsis and cover
June 15: D.M. Stoddard (kingdomoftorrence.com/wordpress)-guest post
June 16: Intisar Khanani (booksbyintisar.com/blog)-interview
June 18: Caleb Fong (geekosupremo.wordpress.com)-radio interview