Music can impair creativity? You don't say!

I have been saying this for years because as a writer and artist who has taught creative writing and art, I can see how processed rhythms creep into the creative product.

You are becoming confined by someone else’s natural rhythms. You become an emulator and follow another’s grooves.

When I teach both art and writing, I tell people to turn off the music — but go out in the world and listen to natural noises to better reflect mood and cadence.

For example, if you want to reflect a couple having a childish fight, listen to children — not just when they are angry, but when they are silly, inquisitive, scared — and then extrapolate their various states to find common threads. Channel that frequency into your characters and you have something that can connect with an audience.

Listen to leaves rustling. Listen to the waves hit the shore. Listen to someone snoring. Listening to your cat grumbling for more treats. That will set the tone and the mood — not just in writing, but also in art.

When I began to write I Am Jane Doe, my first story was typed on an old electronic typewriting I had to listen to the banging and the rhythm of me working. Once I got the rhythm and the atmosphere I was aiming for, I redid them on my laptop.

I often write outdoors just to listen to the reality around me. My house always has some art process on the go, from a tumbler spinning to hammering — all of those noises are transmuted and then translated into events and characters.

Music is prepackaged and preprocessed noise. It is canned. It can be useful if you want to reflect a canned event, but it will not reach a mass audience — it will be a snapshot in time for a specific group, which may be what you want.

But if you want everyone on the same page, you have to get your noises fresh from scratch.

Science is behind the art, usually. I don’t need a study to know something as an artist with a psych degree, but this makes sense — if you want to get in tune with the frequencies of the world, you have to be open to it…