Writing about music…

… is like dancing about architecture, or so the quote that’s perhaps erroneously attributed to Frank Zappa. But anyway, I wanted to use it to make a serious point.

I’ve just written an 80,000 word novel in about six weeks (okay, so I had a 25,000 word head start) and the real secret to my success is the fact that I devote almost two hours a day to writing. And before you picture me in a book-lined library writing longhand with a quill on parchment, I am sitting hunched over a table on a commuter train writing on a NetBook. What I think makes me get through it is the ability to blot out the world. As soon as I’ve locked my bike at the station, my headphones go on. Standing on the station platform, my NetBook gets powered up and the files loaded. I burst onto the train, grab a table, usually piss someone off and I’m away, writing. I’m organised – I’ve got a spreadsheet which tracks where I’m at in the book and what actions I need to take, so I know exactly where to pick up. It’s efficient for writing and editing maybe not so for planning.

The real success point is the blotting the world out. I generally listen to electronic music, and having some noise that gives me a pulse and also masks out the tedious commuter chat is central.

What’s got me through DEVIL IN THE DETAIL is Thom Yorke’s solo album (it’s amazing and I’m not a big fan of Radiohead), Portishead live at roseland NYC and Third, My Bloody Valentine Loveless remaster, DJ Shadow Endtroducing, Olafur Arnalds’ spooky Icelandic modern classical, Ghosting Season (album and EP) and a load of Oliver Huntemann albums. I use Spotify – ten quid a month for unlimited music and such a range of material. Highly recommended – they’ve ironed out most of the kinks in the iPhone app.

I plan to write more about my love of music. The more eagle-eyed among you will notice that my book titles are all music-related so far…

Now, where is that Warp Artificial Intelligence box set…?

— Ed

Author: edjamesauthor

East Lothian-based writer of crime fiction novels. Published by Amazon Publishing's Thomas & Mercer imprint and self-published on Kindle.

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