Friday, December 18, 2009

Music vs Silence

I need to listen to music when I write. At least, I think this is true, but having never actually tried to write without music I can’t say for sure, can I? But I strongly suspect this is the case. Besides, I need SOMETHING to drown out the gallumphing children next door, the slamming doors, the super-deep voice of the man who lives downstairs.

I tend to listen to the same stuff over and over again when I’m writing. It takes a lot for me to get bored of a song if it happens to fit the mood of my novel. Here’s the overly long playlist I created when I was finishing off my first novel. Someday I’m going to edit it down to create the definitive-bestest-of-the-bestest-with-no-fillers version. I’m hoping that process won’t be anything like as hard as cutting words from the novel. (Ouch. I can still feel the pain.)

A few days ago I was listening to Lady Gaga for the very first time, and a new story idea popped into my head – just like that. I got pretty excited about it and wrote a page of random, barely decipherable notes. I was very tempted to start writing it straight away, but like a good girl I forced myself to be disciplined. One story at a time is more than enough for me, I reckon. But the idea is fizzing away there somewhere at the back of my brain. I’ve no doubt that by the time I come to actually write the story, it will have transformed into something entirely different from the original idea BUT without that spark of Gaga inspiration, I’d have a big pile of absolutely nothing. Gaga, I salute you!

So my question to you is this... Do you listen to music when you write? If so, who and why? I’m ready to broaden my musical horizons, so bring it on!


  1. I always listen to music when I write and I agree with you about the inspiration. I have different playlists for various moods (my moods as well as the moods of my characters and/or scenes!) It's hard to know who to recommend, though. I'll think about it!

  2. Luisa-

    How about your Top 5 can't-write-without bands/artists...?

  3. Right now I'm listening to Ash because that's what I listened to when I was fifteen and all I thought about was sex - and since that's all my main character thinks about, it seems appropriate.

  4. Teenfictionista-

    Good choice! Bet you were a charming fifteen-year old...

  5. The trouble is that it changes all the time! I'm really bad at having favourites - sooo fickle! ;)

    OK, top 5 writing playlist bands right this second: Editors, MGMT, Death Cab, Royksopp and Fall Out Boy.

    I now feel like I've revealed to you the exact scene I'm writing, but I probably haven't! :)

    I love what Teenfictionista said too!

  6. Luisa-

    My music knowledge is poor. Going to investigate your choices, esp. Death Cab, as someone else has mentioned them to me just the other day.

    FOB?! Good choice! Thnks fr th mmrs is my number one writing song I think.