Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Words and Music

When I first started writing, I couldn't bear to have any distractions.  Of course, at that time, I was a stay at home mom whose daughter went off to school every day.  Within a year, I made the decision to homeschool and the idea of writing in complete solitude started to fall apart. 

That's when I started to write at night, but that comes with its own set of distractions.  I had the husband home from work by then and the neighbors doing their nightly stuff and the traffic noise escalating because school was out and teenagers can't drive without their bass cranked all the way up.  To escape, I started playing music.

I even made a mix tape of my old favorites - what I call 'harsh alternative'.  But Hubs does not have a fine appreciation for that stuff and I'd rather not subject him to Bush and Pearl Jam and Nirvana.  So, I discovered Pandora.

With the headphones on, I can lose myself in the words and the music.  Half the time, I don't even pay attention to what's streaming into my ears.  The beat just flows through me--especially when the music I'm listening to dovetails with the story I'm writing.

Sure, every once in a while, a song will come on that totally throws me out - usually because I have to sing along - but for the most part, the music keeps me focused.  I can't hear the baseball game on in the background.  I can't be distracted by the boom-boom-boom of a passing car.  I'm just in my own little world.

Right now, as I'm writing Djinn 3, I'm back to my 'harsh alternative' again.  When I wrote Wish in One Hand (Djinn 1), I was listening to what I call 'angry girl music'.  For Wrongful Termination, I totally needed something a little more folksy and created a station off Mumford & Sons and Delta Rae.  For the fantasy I was writing last November, I was lost in 80's music like Howard Jones and Crowded House.  It all depends on what's getting me in the groove.

What about you?  If you write, do you listen to music?  If you don't write, do you need music in the background while you're working?  Does it help or is it just a distraction?

7 comments:

Janet said...

No music - for either writing or working! I love the silence :)

jblynn said...

I'm a big fan of Pandora too while writing too, but I tend to listen to lyric-less tunes so I don't sing along.

B.E. Sanderson said...

I caught myself writing without music late last night, Janet - but I was alone in the office. ;o)

For some reason, for me, JB, wordless music is more distracting. I think it's my screwy brain.

Karyn Good said...

I'll have to check out Pandora. I've never heard of it. The more distracted I am the louder the music gets. I cannot write without it. It drowns out the other thoughts in my head leaving me free to concentrate on writing. It also inspires me. Nope, can't create without it. Usually country or alternative or pop or rock or...whatever.

Silver James said...

You've seen my soundtracks. LOL The Penumbra books demand music. Moonstruck to a degree. And the cowgirls series gets treated to the local C&W station. I either have a 24-hour news station babbling in the background (harkens back to my days when I listened to the scanner to see if I could expect a page-out) or I have iTunes shuffle on my iPhone. I tried Pandora. Took more time to get it set up than I thought was worth it. I have what I want in my personal music folder. :D

B.E. Sanderson said...

Oh, then you're gonna like Pandora, Karyn. You can make any radio stations you want and then add to them to refine what you're listening to. And I totally hear ya on the 'drown out' thing.

LOL, yep, Silver. I thought of you after I wrote this. Sorry Pandora took too long for you to set up. Once you get it where you want it, though, it's pretty awesome.

Aisyah Putri Setiawan said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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