Thursday, September 15, 2011

Do you write to music?

What I'm reading now: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

It seems that many authors--YA ones anyway--post play lists on their blogs or websites to accompany their book titles. The songs are frequently, edgy, not mainstream, or filled with bands that have a wide enough following but may never grace the Top 100 lists. In short...they are songs that appeal to teens who not only read but who also see themselves as just left of the beaten path. When I think back to my own teen years, Depeche Mode comes to mind for some reason, but that is really, really dating me (although, they're still producing and touring these days. We can just pretend I didn't know them back in the day.)

I write with music in the background (turned down to barely a whisper) but it's classical or instrumental jazz. I'm always surprised by people who say they can write to music with lyrics. I for one can not get into a zone when someone else is crooning their words into my brain. Way to distracting.

So here are a few artists from my play list for Ascendant:

Dizzy Gillespie
Charlie Parker

Okay, so it's not exactly Noah and the Whale. But it's what works for me.

So I'm curious...Do you write to music with lyrics? Are you able to tune out the words or does it not affect you they way it does me?


  1. I find that when I'm composing minutes (and listening sometimes to a recording of the meeting) I have to have instrumental music. But I write to music with words when I write fiction. And I've found the music can set the tone of my writing, so now I choose music that fits the scene.

  2. Holst! Mars, the bringer of war, is a must when I'm writing a fight sequence. I like Bach for romance and Beethoven for editing.

  3. I can't write with music on but oddly enough background noise doesn't bother me at all. I do like to listen to music before I write, however, to set the mood.

  4. It's rare for me to write to music. Maybe if I'm just doing light proofing, but certainly not when drafting. But like Suzie F., I'm not bothered by background noise.

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  6. I write to music sometimes… mostly 80s rock or modern rap. It really doesn’t matter because I tune it out when I write. I actually never hear a thing when I am pumping out prose… during those conscience times between flows I hear it—I think it actually helps keep my mind in the zone better.

  7. As someone who is still working on developing a habit of writing, I have found that music with words is truly helpful to get me going...it's as if the monkey brain gets distracted listening to the words, giving my quiet inner voice a chance to shine. The music definitely sets the mood...and I especially love Roberta Flack to drop into that deep place inside me where all the juice can be found.

  8. I have to have quiet to write. I wish I could listen to music while I write though.

    I just picked up Ashes today for my plane trip to the East Coast on Monday! Can't wait to dig into it.

  9. Such a great post! Love visiting your blog!

    Lola x