distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

A Finish-Your-Novel-Or-Else Song

Have a deadline? Trying to finish your novel in a week? Trying to revise before your eyes fall out? Need motivation? A kick in the pants? Something that makes you stop sobbing?

Sometimes an upbeat song helps.

If I share mine, maybe you’ll share yours?

Here’s a song I listen to when I feel sure that the pathetic cloud of doom hovering over my mess of a first draft is about to crush me:

It keeps me from crawling under the writing desk and napping in defeat instead of finishing this new scene! (It’s also a great collaboration between two artists I love. Why didn’t I think to collaborate and write a novel with another author?! The book would’ve been done already.)

How about you? If you have a song that forces you up and keeps you going pounding those words on the page, do share. Maybe I’ll add yours to my motivating playlist.

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5 responses to “A Finish-Your-Novel-Or-Else Song”

  1. That’s a great song, Nova. I don’t have one to share with you, but I’m trying to finish this draft by the end of the month. I’ve had to analyze why I’ve slowed down so much as I approach the end. It always happens and I always have to put up a big fight to bring a story to a close. I have one HUGE scene to write, then a closing scene, then I’m done. But this story has been in my head for four years and I guess I’m a bit sad to draw the curtain.

    By the way, I’m cheering for you. I’d write a song for you, but I need to finish this book ^_^

  2. The entire new album from My Chemical Romance, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. But especially “Planetary [GO!] — if you can fall asleep during that, you’re … in deep trouble, really.

  3. This is the song I listen to when I’m feeling like I’m just empty (so, almost every day). It’s not particularly upbeat, but there’s something about it that’s the musical version of Sugar, whispering in my ear, “Everybody falters in the home stretch. Now get the fuck up and run.” Maybe it’s because Amanda Palmer is just so exuberant about everything she does. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i62UF7uROGU

  4. I envy those of you who can listen to music while you write! I cannot. I have an irresistible need to dance that precludes any writing.

    When I need writing motivation, I tend to go back to my favorite scenes in my current work. That both curbs my self-doubt and gets me excited about continuing the story. It probably also helps that when I leave my writing alone too long, or get stalled in the narrative, I start to feel guilty about the characters two chapters back who have been eating the same dinner for, oh, a week or a month…

    Now, although I can’t write and listen, I often listen to music as I commute to work and ‘daydream’ stories to write. ‘The Moon and Antarctica’ by Modest Mouse, ‘Plans’ by Death Cab for Cutie, ‘Hail to the Thief’ by Radiohead, ‘The Crane Wife’ by the Decemberists, and ‘Evolve’ by Ani DiFranco are all frequent story-dream backdrops. At the moment, the song ‘The Cave’ by Mumford & Sons has me absolutely hooked.

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