Are you familiar with the concept of lifehacking? There are plenty of Tumblr posts on the subject and there’s even an entire website devoted to the idea. Basically, life hacks are tips and tricks that will theoretically help you live a more efficient life. Apparently there is a subset of life hacks just for writing. This weekend, a member of my writer’s group sent out a link to this writing hack on Reddit:
Put a song with no lyrics (or foreign lyrics) on repeat.
It seems too simple to be effective, but it has worked for me without fail. The music fades into the background and helps maintain flow, not sure exactly how. But it does.
I use the same song (plus an assortment of similar remixes) every time I work. When it comes on, I pop into the flow and get to work.
I love this writing hack idea and have used it quite frequently myself. In past posts I’ve written about the fervor of a write-in during National Novel Writing Month. To help maintain my momentum at these writing events, I plug my earbuds into my ears and keep them there during our word wars — sustained periods of writing for, usually, 17 minutes. I don’t want to worry about tracks changing or about albums running out, so I usually put just one song on repeat and let it play during the word war. This past year, the soundtrack from the BBC’s Sherlock helped me out a lot.
I like the idea of using the same song or the same playlist of songs each time you sit down to write. Not only would that help to create the flow and rhythm for your work session, but it might also create a connection in your brain between those songs and writing. If that were to happen, those songs might always trigger the desire to write and might help you get more work done.
If you’re looking for a way to gain and keep a momentum during your writing sessions, give this writing hack a try.
— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan