I've often talked to my creative writing students (high school and adult) about how I have certain music for different WiPs. For my last NaNoNovel, my playlist has lots of Sarah McLachlan, Jewel, and other artists of that kind.
For the WiP I'm currently revising, CinderThief, I'm listening exclusively to Celtic music sung by women.
For my urban fantasy, only music by Evanescence will do.
But I didn't realized until today how much what I'm reading will affect what I'm writing. For instance, this week the final book in Karen Moning's Fever series came out, and I've been totally focused on it. In fact, when I'd turn on my computer to write, I'd be able to get a couple of sentences done before Mac and Jericho Barrons drew me back into the world of a Dublin gone completely mad. (Lots of bad, scary faeries. Very scary.)
I was having such a hard time writing, not just because I had a severe case of book drain (all of my faculties were being divereted to Shadowfever and I had nothing left for anything else), but because what I was reading was so different from the world I'm trying to create in CinderThief.
I finished Shadowfever yesterday and I wanted to work on the urban fantasy or, better yet, find a new urban fantasy series and allow myself to get sucked into that. (Which, by the way, if you know of any other great urban fantasies, will you give me a heads up? Thanks.)
But I refrained and started to read a book I already had on my Kindle: The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson. It's a lovely romance that takes place in 13th century Saxony...different place but same time as my novel. And reading it has helped bring me back to the "write" frame of mind to work on CinderThief. Which means that I'm having fun and I know where I'm going with it.
So, what about you? What do you have to do to get yourself to the place you need to be to create?