Music for steaming ahead

This month, I signed up to the RWA’s 50k in 30 days challenge.

I didn’t plan to do 50,000 words, but I did sign up for 40,000.

I have to admit, at this half-way point of the month, it’s not looking good.

For some people, 40,000 words would be a piece of cake, but I don’t count the total words, only what I call ‘finished words’.  I write a chapter at a time and only move on when it’s as close to done as it can be without having the whole manuscript together.  (It’s a legacy from being a copywriter – each scene or chapter is like a ‘job’.  It’s how I roll and I’ve given up second-guessing it.)  So I might write 12,000 words but end up with only 4,000 that I count.

However, this isn’t an excuse.  I knew what I wanted when I jumped in and I’m not ready to give up yet.

So, I decided I needed to line up some inspiring music to get me up and going this week.  10,000 words or bust!  These are some of my favourites, which I thought I’d share, in case you’re in the same boat.  Crank up the volume and get your inspiration on!

First, from the classic sports movie about overcoming obstacles, Rocky, it’s Survivor with Eye of the Tiger (with classic early nineties video clip).

Then, continuing the sporting theme, the timeless brilliance of Vangelis from Chariots of Fire.

Continuing the movie theme, here is one of my favourite movie tracks of all time, by Irene Cara and from the movie of the same name, Fame. (For younger persons, please not this is from the original movie, not the recent remake.  The latter had some great set pieces but none of the grunt and pathos of the original.)

And finally, two of the best popular singers ever, Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox, belt out a great anthem to the Sisterhood.

Do you have any favourite tunes for enlivening you, when your get up and go has got up and gone?

26 thoughts on “Music for steaming ahead

    • Yes! Both very boppy selections! Addicted to Love is also kind of appropriate for what I’m writing at the moment, so I’ll stick that on the playlist, definitely. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  1. I like a bit of 80’s pop…some Kylie Minogue works…Aretha and George Michael…I knew you were waiting…(funny I wrote about the soundtrack of my book yesterday…tis the season for good music)

    • There’s a definite 80s theme here. I wonder if it’s intrinsic boppiness, or our age? Or mine, anyway… I loved your choice on your post too. Only the Beginning is a favourite of mine and also appropriate for my current push! 🙂

  2. When I was studying for my bar exams, I’ll always remember, the song that use to cheer me up at 1 am when I just wanted to give up on everything was… Up from Shania Twain! Hahaha!

    • Sometimes we need those encouraging ones, don’t we? I don’t think I had realised you were a lawyer, Rita. Or I had forgotten. I would have needed more than Shania to get me through bar exams! I’m thinking vodka… 😉

      • I can’t practice in Australia but I worked 4 years in Canada as a defence lawyer and still have my title there. But trust me, there was also vodka involved!

  3. Well, it depends what mood I’m trying to get into, of course! But a great one on topic would have to be Bananarama – Venus…or, of course, Can’t Touch This – MC H 🙂 What can I say? A sucker for the 80’s!

  4. Love your selections, Imelda, but mine vary depending on what I need to write. Working on “White Ginger” for Lyrical Press, I needed schmaltz so played Etta James’s At Last for one scene and Il Divo’s The Man You Love for the wedding to get into the mood. I’m looking forward to playing them again when the book is released to see how it works for me then.
    John Farnham’s Australian album Green Limousine is also a fave for creating energy. And Enrique Iglesias if I need romance or lust in another language! I could go on but I’ll stop now. :]

    • Sounds like there’s a whole separate subject there, Sue! I love that Etta James tune, but I tend not to do soundtracks because I can’t actually write with the music playing – at least, not music with words. I need it beforehand, or occasionally to drown out the sound of other people talking, if there are others with me. But mostly, I like silence, or the white noise of the cafe. If I can hear the words, they intrude on the ones I’m writing. I put up with this occasionally in the care for the eavesdropping benefits, but I guess that’s another story, too… 😉

        • Thanks. I wanted something nice, unlike the generic titles HMB use. I’ve edited this whole ms plus about 60 pages of another this month so my editing for 50/30 is way ahead. Until I finished marking and reporting (this afternoon as it turned out), there was no way I’d touch writing. Still not ready for it, but I’m stoked with the editing effort. Do you visit the sprint room at all?

          • I haven’t yet, mostly because they tend to sprint at the times when my family requires my attention. But I’m going to try to get there this week sometime. Lovely to have a chance for a nice title. I know they must sell and I often like the stories but I must admit that HM&B titles make me cringe.

  5. Music is a wonderful inspiration. But I find if I really want to make the word count I need to pull myself off of all forms of social media, otherwise get too distracted. Even writing the shortest of blogs sets my mind in the wrong direction and slows my process considerably. But that might just be me. I see some bloggers that don’t have any trouble jumping back and forth. Good luck getting your word count.

    • Thanks Debra! It’s tricky, isn’t it? I think, for me, the seductiveness of blog posts is that they are so much easier to write. Even the tricky ones don’t usually require character arcs… I’m still trying to get the balance right, but if I find a foolproof system, I’ll definitely let you know! 😉

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