I'm very protective of the music I use for writing. I search long and hard for the perfect collection of songs that can suffuse my brain with the tone I want to create in my novels. Every revision requires at least one new song to represent the shift, the new sense of climate I'm aiming to add to the story.
There's a small handful of people I'm willing to share my songs with. I can count them on one hand. It's not that I don't want to share my music, but I'm sort of afraid that if I give my story songs away, I'll dilute the power they hold over my subconscious. Somehow, I'm convinced that giving away the musical kernel of the novel is to give away the kernel of the story itself.
Irrational. I know. But it means that when I'm sitting in my coffeeshop, sipping my cappuccino on a Tuesday morning, and one of my hard-discovered songs comes over the speakers, I immediately leap to my feet and attack the mild-mannered, music-literate, cappuccino-making genius behind the counter with what I'm sure is a terrifying "WHY MY MUSIC, YOU THIEF????"
Don't fret. The encounter ended with mutual respect, one more cappuccino, and an exchange of music recommendations.
The point is, I'm as emotionally invested in my music as I am in my own novels. There's something really amazing about finding a song that perfectly captures a piece of my own imagination - the spark of a character, the first image of the story, the core of its emotion. It reminds me that I'm participating in a much larger tapestry of creative thought, adding to a conversation that's been going for hundreds of years in every medium storytellers can get their fingers on.
Which is my long-winded way of saying music is important to me, yo. (And I'm a little crazy about it).
As a way to further establish how crazy I am (and entertain you with my follies), I'll offer this final example.
About a week ago, M (one of the four people I share music with), sent me a song with the explanation, "you should listen to this because it's weird."
And it was. Weird. But oddly appealing. I filed the recommendation away for further thought and countered with a piece that was equally as odd, but far less appealing with attack xylophones. The point is we had a decent exchange about this piece of music.
Fast forward a week to two days ago when I encounter a song I think M will like. I send it and the following happens:
Me: Have you heard of this band? I like them so I think you will, too.
M: .....I have. Didn't I send you one of their weird songs last week?
Me: Um. You did? Did I like it?
M: You did. There's a problem with your brain.
Me: DON'T YOU THINK I KNOW?!
I'm on the prowl again. Searching for the music that will pattern my brain for the foreseeable future. Send your recs if you've got 'em!