Music

We are all inspired by different things. A big influence on me is music. I know some writers find it distracting, preferring to work in peace and quiet. I get that; sometimes you’re so caught up in a scene or a moment that the slightest sound can throw you off. Generally speaking, however, I love listening to music while I write. It can help me to find a certain mood, empowering my writing, or complementing an atmosphere I am striving to reach. I think mostly it helps to clear my mind, so that I can lose myself in a character or narrative.

Favourite tracks include: Twice, by Little Dragon, The Fate of Little Adelaide, by Murray Gold, I’m Sleeping Under The Dead Tree, by Films, On the Nature of Daylight by Max Richter and Stumbleine’s remix of Leave The Light On, by Asa. These tracks share a common theme in that they move me when I hear them. I think it’s this that translates into emotive and stirring writing. Many of my Pen of the Damned posts were written to these tracks, as was Lynnwood – and much more music besides.

Do you write to music? Or is it a distracting influence?

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m a ‘write in silence’ person, Thomas. I don’t know how anyone writes to music without becoming distracted… two different passions for me I suppose. 🙂

    1. Thomas Brown says:

      Each to their own, Dark Angel! There are times for both, I think. I hope you’re well, and not working too hard!

  2. Joseph Pinto says:

    Without music while I write, all is lost lol Although while I edit, I must have complete silence. Go figure! lol

    1. Thomas Brown says:

      Interesting! Perhaps it is that writing is more creative and open to inspiration/influence, while the more technical aspects of editing require concentration…

  3. jaimiengle says:

    It isn’t a distraction to me – having two kids under twelve, if I only wrote in quiet, I would never write – but, I don’t write to music. I write in so many different environments (dog park, bed, porch, PC) that I am usually just in the middle of my day getting thoughts out between daily events. Maybe one day I could try it. It sounds like it could lead to a deeper inspiration. Thanks for the blog!

    1. Thomas Brown says:

      It sounds as though you’ve learned to write around distractions quite well!

  4. zkullis says:

    I also write to music. Typically I have the volume down so it drowns out any background noise, and also provides some ambience.

    When I know I’m going to be writing something particularly dark, I will often turn the volume up and play music that falls in the genre with Mudvayne or Korn.

    Soft music or no music works for me if I’m writing something lighter. But I do my best to isolate my light or dark side with the help of music. It helps me focus emotions.

    1. Thomas Brown says:

      I think that’s the trick, Zack – to play music that complements a mood you’re aiming for.

  5. Patty Dohle says:

    A variety, really. I listen to music to put myself into a mood I need for a certain scene. Walking and listening to music and thinking about a story is an amazing kickstarter. But once I get into the zone, the flow, it needs to be instrumental or it becomes distracting. I remember long evenings and nights of writing when I was a teenager, and the music pushing me into the zone, but once I got there, scribbling madly, one impatient hand would reach out and hit the stop button. When I was in my early teens, writing lots of fantasy, I’d listen to The Neverending Story soundtracks (on tape – I’m that old!), and forward or rewind to certain pieces that captured the mood of a scene. My Dad nearly lost it. He kept saying that the tape must have doubled in length just from my listening to it so much, and he couldn’t bear it anymore. Funny story: when he came to my graduation in Bournemouth, it turned out that the composer’s son, Nicholas Doldinger, was there as well, with his family, having graduated in the same year. Dad: “Where is the bastard! WHERE IS HE???”

    I’ve got music that I save only for writing, so the associations never spoil. That desert walk I told you about… to evoke that feel, it’s U2’s Joshua Tree album. It only comes out when I’m actually in the desert, or writing about it.

    1. Thomas Brown says:

      Ha, I would get similar complaints from Daisy when all she could hear through the wall for two hours was the same music repeated. I have taken to wearing headphones when there are others in the house. But I definitely understand about needing to ‘get into the mood’. The right music can really evoke some strong subconscious writing.

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