Bob Dylan probably didn’t know this when he was writing music, but listening to music can enhance the writing experience.
Many writers claim they can have no distractions in the vicinity when they write. Some admit they start to write the lyrics of the song they’re listening to, so they can’t listen to anything. Others admit the same thing, so they swear by music without words.
Instrumental music. Cue Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Data Kino, Testube, to mention a few.
The secret isn’t a secret. It’s circulating through the community of writers, like so: “Hey, does anyone have some music suggestions for me? My writing playlist is getting old.”
Funny thing is the suggestions are always what someone else enjoys. How else? Everybody wants to recommend what they like the most.
I personally don’t mind selections with lyrics. Especially if it’s something I’ve heard before. If it’s new then I might wonder what the lead singer just sang. I might wonder: What in the world is Bob Dylan rhyming about now?
He might be rhyming dead with head. He might be rhyming mind with behind. Eyes with skies. Range with change.
Whatever his latest rhyme may be, Bobby Dee is far ahead of me. Prolific is his work.
He penned Positively 4th Street, about when two people meet, and the luck, good or bad, two people feel. So the question in my mind is this: Did Bob Dylan listen to his own music while he was writing a new song?
Whatever his method, it worked for him. What’s your method?