Thursday, November 3, 2011

Write to Music?

When you write, do you listen to music?

A recent post by fellow blogger, Amanda, prompted me to consider the relationship between my writing and music. I'd never examined it before, but after I did, I found a couple of interesting things:

1. Depending on what I write, I either NEED music OR complete silence.

2. Mr. Amazing Dude is the exact opposite. :-)

After reading Amanda's post, I thought back to when I first started *seriously* scribbling out stories. At age 11. In little college-rule notebooks of a variety of colors: teal, cerulean, and RED red. In front of a window. When I was probably supposed to be doing schoolwork. Anyway, I do remember having my radio on and it was permanently stuck on the local classical station. I might admit to listening to the occasional Amy Grant cassette, but you'd have to pay me to find out for sure. And to my amazement, I realized that ever since, I've had music (usually film scores) playing in the background when I work on my novels. The swells inherent in music provide the inspiration and set the mood for my imagination to play. I also love ska and jazz, but can't write to anything that has lyrics.  That's saved for road trips.

On the other hand, if I'm doing non-fiction writing (like writing this post!) I must have silence. No sound. Period. It's too distracting.  In college, my friends tried to drag me out of my hermit cave to study/write papers at Starbucks with them.  I did that. Once. I got two horrible sentences typed in the space of an hour and a half while my friends got half of their three page essays done.

And as it turns out, I've married someone just like them (well, as it relates to writing). Mr. Amazing Dude needs background music (usually ska or punk) when he's writing papers. Correspondingly, he needs silence during the rare times he works on his novella. (Yes, he has one, but I can't tell you about it....yet).

So what type of writer are you? Driven by silence or music or perhaps just noise? Does it matter what you're trying to write? What type of background music do you listen to if you write to music?

1 comment:

  1. I think it depends on my mood rather than what I'm writing. But I agree with you, classical/instrumental, preferably soundtracks, is _always_ better than anything with lyrics when I need to write.


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