Monday, January 12, 2009

Get me some tunes

Do you listen to music when you write? My oldest daughter can't write with music on at all. She finds it too distracting. The next daughter can't write without it. As for me, I like to write with Music.
The kind of thing I'm writing or doing will influence the type of music. If I'm strategizing, something without words is better--Jazz or classical. If I'm editing, I have a certain couple of CDs with piano music that are a must--again without words. If I'm composing and letting the words flow, the music has to be current. I'm particularly fond of alternative rock, but anything that masks the brain noise seems to unleash the words.

The music helps keep me from getting stuck. The lyrics don't distract me. If fact, I hardly even register them until I start getting hung up and things stop flowing. Then I just lean back in my chair and listen, and the pounding rhythm, the complexities of the melody, the soaring or hushed or raspy vocals all help unwind my tangled thoughts. Then I can move on and keep writing.

20 comments:

Justus M. Bowman said...

I mostly work in silence. If I decide to "spice" things up, I choose songs without lyrics.

Justus M. Bowman said...

Fine...you got me. I like to listen to videogame midis. :'(

beth said...

I must listen to music. I get distracted without it. Somehow, having music--any music--filling my ears actually acts as a buffer between and other distractions.

Lady Glamis said...

Ah, many people have talked about this. I like music when I write, for sure. I like upbeat music that doesn't have many lyrics. If there's lyrics, I need to be really familiar with them so I can block them out. Sometimes I'll pick one song and put it on repeat until I'm done writing. I'll look at the count for the song and see that it's played about 45 times. :) It keeps me in one frame of mind, that's all I can say!

Captain Hook said...

I like to be in a busy place (habit from having my kids around), but I can't have music. The tv, movies, conversations - they're all fine, but no music.

lotusgirl said...

It's interesting how everyone varies.

Justus, I knew the videogames would get you.

beth, the music acts as a buffer for me and other distractions too.

Glam, the lyrics don't really distract me except when I'm blocked. That said there are some particular songs that I find distracting and can't listen to when I write.

CH, I write at a desk in the kitchen usually and the tv, movies, conversations totally distract me. the music helps drown all that out.

PJ Hoover said...

No way on the music. I like total quiet :)

Anette J Kres said...

I have to be alone, without people talking to me or distracting noises, but music is okay as long as its low.

I generally like having some quiet tunes going while I write, though I've found that I have to get into my writing groove before I turn them on. Otherwise I just can't get focused.

The music is mostly just there for background noise. I'm not really paying attention to it.

spinregina said...

I like pure silence. When I am doing other creative things, though, I enjoy music. Or cooking or visiting or pretty much anything, except writing.

spinregina said...

Yay, my comment finally showed up! I've commented a few times but I was doing it wrong.

lotusgirl said...

PJ-there seem to be a lot of you that like silence.

Anette-I'm not really paying attention to the music either.

Kristen-I love music on all the time really. I feel the void if it's not there when I'm writing.

Of course, time will tell if the writing that comes out is actually any good or not.

Renee Collins said...

Hi Lois! I've seen around on some of my pals blogs (Natalie, Kiersten) and I thought I'd pop over to say hello. :)

I've been reading through your blog and it's good fun. I love your post about hope. Isn't that just a staple for aspiring writers?

As for music, I don't HAVE to listen to it while I write, but I love it. I am a huge fan of listening to film scores. They are usually chock full of emotion, which works for my stories. :) Best film score ever? Lord of the Rings. By a mile.

lotusgirl said...

Hey Renee! Thanks for stopping by! Glad you're enjoying it! I have to agree that hope is an essential for aspiring writers. We'd never get anywhere without it. I'll have to consider film scores for writing background. That's not something I ever really considered using.

Gottawrite Girl said...

Oh my, I agree with PJ, I just need silence... I typically use music to lift my spirits, away from creative work time.

: )

lotusgirl said...

GWG, there seem to be a lot of write in silence people out there.

Joe Iriarte said...

In general, I can't write with music on. The only times I've even tried to are when I needed it to block out something even more distracting . . . like when someone turns on the evil TV. Then I have Pandora serve me up some classical music. (I am not at all a classical music junkie, btw, but I need the music to have no lyrics.)

Congrats on getting the shout out on Nathan Bransford's blog, btw. That should give you a spike in traffic. ;)

I don't dare post over there . . . he gets so many comments, and I always have blogger forward comments to my e-mail, so I'd get swamped if I did. But it's one space after a period all the way. ;)

lotusgirl said...

Joe, Thanks for the recognition. So far there's no one new over here--at least leaving comments.

I'm working on getting the one space thing down. Heck, it saves a whole keystroke every sentence. LOL!

With 4 kids I'm needing to drown out the evil TV and conversations and dogs and a lot of other things if I'm going to get any writing done. Maybe that's why my music has to be so insistent. But for editing and making it right. I have to eliminate the words as well.

spinregina said...

L-how cool! how fun! NB mentioned your blog! That is because you always post interesting things, you are a good writer, and a very nice person.

Stephanie Perkins said...

Oh, absolutely! I'm very nerdy and obsessive compulsive about playlists. I have general playlist for each novel (the "vibe" or what-have-you) and then specific playlists for certain chapters or characters or emotions.

Most of the music I write to DOES have lyrics, but every now and then my brain short-circuits and I go instrumental!

lotusgirl said...

Kristen, Thanks! You're so sweet. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Stephanie, I have playlists for each of my projects, but I haven't gone so far as to have them for each chapter or character. I think that would work for me actually.