There is a long standing debate in the writing community as whether you should listen to music whilst your writing. Some are all for it and some totally disagree. Sure there is no hard and fast rule that must be obeyed and I’m in the middle with this theory.
Those who are in agreement with the music and writing collaboration working well together claim that the music promotes inspiration and enhances the mood of the writer. I can see the logic of this, I know that sometimes when I’m watching an epic movie, the soundtrack behind it if chosen correctly will conjure up all sorts of thoughts and memories. No one can argue that the music from Jaws does not provoke a sense of fear within them and will continue to do so no matter how many times they watch the movie. Listening to my favourite music in the car often causes the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up as it is so empowering to me as an individual.
My own personal thoughts on the matter is if a writer is fully immersed within his / her story, plotlines and characters then he / she will have already evoked all of the required senses and feelings required to do the story justice and if like me, he / she will already be living with the plot and characters fully embedded in their mind 24/7 during the whole writing process.
For me on my journey I have tried both options, writing with music and without music and I have to admit that I feel I write better without listening to music.
I like to write on a large table or desk with all my notes laid out in front of me and my chapter planner at hand. Before even starting to write I quickly jot down a list of what I want to achieve that day (What is the status at the start, what needs to change in the middle and what needs to happen at the end I also note what do I intend to portray to the reader). Once all this is done it’s a quick refresh of the notes and Im off! I don’t like interruption or distraction though I can tolerate a small amount, I wont stop writing until I have achieved everything identified on my list.
Music is a big NO NO for me when it comes to editing. I have to do this alone in total silence, first checking the text on my screen quickly rectifying any glaring errors and typos. After printing out the section I plan to edit, I read it out aloud, very slowly. This can be highly painstaking as it may take 2 or 3 attempts to satisfy me that everything is good and how I want it to sound. By this time, the print out is littered with numerous scribbles , notes and cross outs which I immediately transfer onto my laptop to make the last edits before saving.
Now one part of the book writing process where music does work for me is at the Planning Stage. I use an assortment of playlists stored on my Spotify App and the type of music I select depends on what stage of the story I am planning. For example when planning a sad scene I will listen to something completely different than if I was planning a fight scene. Like I said at the beginning of the blog at this stage of the writing progress the correct music will inspire me and enhance my mood making me feel more in touch with my story. I can often be found strutting around or mincing around my apartment writing down snippets of ideas (not a nice thought).
Now at the end of my blog it seems that my statement of improved writing without music is correct but I do embrace music in my writing process. Hence that is why I sit on the fence on the whole debate of writing and music. Each to their own and if it works for them then that’s great.
I have went through my Spotify playlists and have identified what music I have been working to for the past 2 month. It’s a bit of an odball list but I want to share my current top 5 musics tracks with you – My readers and my friends
No 1 Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy
No 2 – Texas ft Method Man – Say What you Want
No 3 Pet Shop Boys ft Example – Thursday
No 4 – IAMDDB – Running
No 5 – Maverick Sabre – Come Fly Away
Hope you have found this fun.
Till the next time
2 thoughts on “Writing Inspiration Part 3 – Writing and Music – My Current Top 5 Tracks when Working”
Loved reading your take on music and about your writing process. I tend to write best with classical music playing. Any other time it puts me to sleep, but when I’m writing it helps me be so much more productive. Of course I just do short blogs, and I hope to write a novel one day but it also seems so overwhelming. Thank you so much for sharing the recommended reads and about your process. Maybe following you will give me just the push to start. . anywhere. . just start.
Hi again Sylvia…I like your take on classical music. I actually listen to this after I’ve finished writing for the day to help me unwind. Im going to follow your blog also. Im sure in no time you will start your novel. It took me years to pick up the courage to start and I could kick myself for not starting earlier. Take care and good luck.