Discussion: Do you listen to music as you write? Why or why not?

Just as I do not recommend writing with a fever, reading through jetlag and turbulence = NO!!! LOL

Just as I do not recommend writing with a fever, reading through jetlag and turbulence = NO!!! LOL

So happy to be posting again!!!!!! I know my posts have been a bit sporadic lately and I apologize for that. I’ve just spent the past few weeks job searching and also working in some time to travel cross country. I spent 12 hrs yesterday in airports, on planes, and in turbulence…yeah my stomach did not like that. I tried to get some reading done but it’s a bit nauseating when the book you’re reading is bouncing in your hands every second. Since I finally got to my destination I’ve gotten some writing done, but didn’t get the chance to post. Now I have returned!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!

For this post I’d like to open a discussion. Do you like to listen to music as you write? Why or why not? If you do like to listen to music as you’re writing, what kind of music do you listen to?

Music as you write? Yea? Nay?

Music as you write? Yea? Nay?

For my part I usually listen to music as I write but I have a very specific playlist that depends on my mood and what I need. For example I am an easily distracted person so I only listen to low key things when I write, otherwise I’ll get so wrapped up in the music it will pull my attention away from what I’m writing. It also helps if what I’m listening to is tied to what I’m writing in some way. For example last year I wrote a ten-minute play that was centered in West Virginia, and so to get into that mindset I created a Pandora station that played a mixture of old southern gospel songs and bluegrass. The music was reminiscent of what I was writing so it helped me to envision the world of the story, and the songs themselves were slow paced ballads so they didn’t pull my distraction away.

Listening to some old Bluegrass and gospel on Pandora got me into the right mindset for my play, oh and it's also really good music!!! :)

Listening to some old Bluegrass and gospel on Pandora got me into the right mindset for my play, oh and it’s also really good music!!! 🙂

As I mention a few posts ago I was working on turning an old freewriting exercise of mine into a novel. Well the novel itself is set some time in the 1800’s in England so it really helped me to picture how that world looked by listening to classical music from that time. By listening to the same types of music that would have been popular during the time period in which I set my story it gives me a way to envision how that world might sound. I already had an idea of how the world looked, but the music gave me a way to picture how the world would sound, offering me a tool to engage the readers’ senses.

For me figuring out the types of songs my character might hear on a daily basis gives me another way to understand their worlds.

For me figuring out the types of songs my character might hear on a daily basis gives me another way to understand their worlds.

So that’ my rigmarole! Do you have specific music that you like to listen to when you write? Or do you like to write it total silence? Why? Post in the comment section below the writing exercise!!! If you have any questions or concerns feel free to let me know.

Exercise of the Day

Exercise of the Day

Exercise of the Day: The Moving Box Exercise

Imagine that you’ve moved into a new home. You know nothing about the previous owners. When you enter the house you see a box on the floor that belonged to the previous owners. Open it and describe what you find. From the items you find inside the box create a story for who the previous owners might have been.

 

Have fun with this exercise and I will talk to you again soon!!! Bye!

 

 

 

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30 Comments

Filed under Art, Books, Characters, Creative, Creative writing, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, Nanowrimo, Novel Writing, Novels, Playwriting, Plot, Reading, Screenwriting, Uncategorized, Writing, writing tips

30 responses to “Discussion: Do you listen to music as you write? Why or why not?

  1. Great post! I usually don’t listen to music due to the fact that I do get too easily distracted. However, I really like the idea of listening to genre specific music related to your novel. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The only music I can listen to when writing is trance. It must ‘oil the neural connections’ somehow. Everything else tends to distract me. I haven’t tried music that’s specific to the environment you’re writing about.; the classical music background sounds like it would be quite effective.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sometimes when I really need to get focused and calm I pop in Shepherd Moon, an Enya CD I picked up a few years ago. It can really help to calm me down if my mind is getting a bit too frantic so that I can offer my writing more focus. Thanks for reading!!!

      Like

  3. I can’t usually listen to music when in writing as I get distracted way too easily. I do like the idea of listening to music that is related to what you’re writing in some way though. I’m going to try that! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Music can be very inspiring. I listen to Pandora when I write. I also make separate playlist on youtube for each of my characters.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nay. My mind needs quiet. Though usually I am talking to myself the whole time anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally understand! Even though I do enjoy using music as a tool sometimes even then it can become too much of a distraction and I have to turn it off. I listen to it up until the point where I find that it’s distracting me too much. Thanks for reading and commenting!!! 🙂

      Like

  6. I have written a few books and each one had a specific type of music or preferred artist that I would listen to as I opened the MS.
    The last book I wrote , a humorous satire set in France , I always began the days’ writing while listening to Claude Bolling, The Picnic Suite.
    Of course the LP ( sorry, no CD of this music!) is only around 40 minutes long and I would write for considerably longer than that so there was other stuff I listened to as well. Can’t remember what of hand.
    Yet when it was done and the editing and rewriting started I always began with a Rolling Stones, greatest hits compilation, and Moby. The first song set to play was always Gimme Shelter.
    Don’t ask me why.
    Habit? Routine?

    While writing a science fiction novel a number of years ago the fist piece of music I listened to almost non stop was the album Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, by Return to Forever ( Chick Corea)

    When I just sit re-read stuff and need a more relaxed state of mind, then Astor Piazolla is perfect.

    Odd choice I know! But we’re all different.
    Nice post.

    Like

    • Odd song mixes are the greatest!! It triggers your creativity and let’s not forget that they’re some really catchy tunes!! For one mix I made for one of my novels I had ABBA, Edith Piaf, and Raffi singing “Baby Beluga”. If you didn’t know what I was writing my mix would’ve seemed like a disjointed mess, but each song held a specific purpose. Like most things in writing, it’s relative. If you listen to music as you write then find what works for you and do it. Thanks for taking the time to respond!! 🙂

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  7. Not sure I have a preference; I write to music, to chat sometimes (if I can’t get away fro the family) and silence. I guess working n an open plan office helped me white out noise. I see you like Enya? Have you tried Adiemus Songs of Sanctuary?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vrhgk8Fa_QE. or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dc-tRfKjuQ as suggestions. Now that’s music I can write to!

    Like

    • Well I do like Enya because she offers a calming atmosphere, and also speaks to my Irish roots. Erin go bragh!!! LOL!! I really love Enya’s voice but her new age type of music really isn’t one of my favorite kinds though. I really only listen to her when I really need to calm down and write. So it’s not my favorite kind of music, but it gets the job done!! Thanks for the suggestions!!! 🙂 Slainte!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Nope, no music here. I just put on netflix in the background, let it cycle through my list.

    Like

    • Nice choice!! It wouldn’t work for me though. I were to put on my Netflix list I would wind up watching instead of writing. There are just so many great shows to watch!!! What kinds of things are on your list?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lots of things, Walking dead, warehouse 13, Eureaka, documentaries, I try to watch anything that just resonates with me. Things with good stories, or interesting characters. So a lot of TV Shows. And Youtube, I ❤ that shiz.

        Like

        • I watch lots of things too. I like Hell on Wheels, oitnb, Foyle’s War, and tons of other Bit shows. Oh and I just finished the first season of The Fall!! Awesome!! I totally agree with you. Anything with interesting characters can grab my attention! I think that’s why I don’t watch my Netflix as I write. The characters are too cool!!!! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Half the time I find that I get so caught up in what I’m writing that I don’t notice anything. In that case I tend to start with listening to music but then end up in silence because the CD’s finished and I haven’t noticed. 🙂 But then there are times when any noise is too distracting and I prefer to work in silence.

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    • For me I’m not really listening to the music. I’m trying to get the fell of the music so I can generate the kind of atmosphere I’m looking for. It’s really about engaging another part of my brain so I can come up with ideas if I get stuck. 🙂

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  10. mariekevanmil

    I find music rather distracting as I am writing. I do however listen music when I am reading at times or when I’m looking for inspiration.

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  11. Absolutely. I don’t listen while I’m planning, but once it’s time to write, I fire up The Prime Cronus on Youtube and go to town. It unleashes something that kind of takes over.

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  12. I have several playlists to listen to while writing. One regular one and playlists for certain stories. I can’t listen to every kind of music. Just like you I’m easily distracted and before I know it I’m singing along instead of writing haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m a bit stuck for ideas right now so I think I’ll put together a truly random mix on Pandora and thinking “what would my character think about this song? Would it be something popular where they live?” Thanks for reading and following!!!

      Like

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