The Musician In My Brain

Some people hear voices (I do). Other people have vivid dreams (yes for that one, too). But I hear music. Constantly.

From the time I get up to the time I go to bed, I have music playing in my head. Usually it’s a song I heard the day before or a tune brought to mind by something I saw or heard. I don’t know if it’s because I have a background in music, or because I consider myself a creative person (one who at one time wrote music), but maybe it’s both. In either case, I travel through my day with a music track playing in the background. It’s kind of like starring in my own movie (without Scarlett Johansson playing opposite me).

Probably it’s similar to what I tell my Editorial Techniques students. They are required to come up with a new story every week; the twist is that they can’t write it, but have to find someone else to write it. One of them said the other day: “I find myself looking for stories constantly.”

Bingo. That’s exactly the mindset that editors have, and that writers should too. Every person, every interaction, every incident is fodder for a story. Your mind needs to get used to looking for stories all the time. You know you’re on the right track when the story ideas far outweigh your time to write them. That way, you end up only writing the best ones.

Maybe that’s what’s happening with my music-brain. Having written music for a decade or so, my mind is stuck in a musical rut. It’s still trying to find music in everyday life. But I don’t see it as annoying, or distracting.

In fact, I kind of like it.