[TEJ] wrote “Does anyone use music to set a tone while they’re writing? For me, I think it depends on my level of concentration; sometimes music helps, sometimes it gets in the way.”

[DQ] replied I don’t. If there’s music I don’t care particularly about, it quickly becomes mental clutter, distracting me from the world I’m trying to be in, in order to write. If there’s music that I do like, it sucks my attention away from writing, I pay attention to the music. I’ve tried classical, ragtime piano, various jazz forms, nothing has proven itself to be an enhancement to the writing process for me. I think I have a real mental processing problem – I know I have an auditory processing problem. I can’t task-switch rapidly enough to simulate “multi-tasking,” and various contiguous tasks tend to dribble into one another. Right now that music you shared is driving me nuts.

[RN] replied “I do not.  Total quiet.  I like to sing along with songs, and while there was a time when I could sing the song and write different words at the same time, those days are long gone.  Now I have a hard time remembering all the words to the song. I have a hard time remembering my main characters names. I am having a hard time correctly spelling the name Barbara – which is quite a bit in the new story – usually not having enough a’s or r’s.  So music at the same time?  definitely not.”

[JG] replied “With art/design, music in no way inhibits my focus. It becomes a nice auditory stimulus as background noise while I focus on something really visual. Concentration is like going underwater for me and the music can help me get there. I usually lose track of the songs until I resurface. With writing, it can be more distracting if the music has words so I’ll put on instrumental stuff, but I don’t like to work in complete silence. I’ve got my Spotify horror movie station on right now.”

[JT] replied “I occasionally use specific pieces at specific spots.  For example, I listened to Chris Isaak’s “E let her down” repeatedly as I wrote Joyce’s death.  Music as a backdrop, however put me in DQ’s spot.  If I like it, I listen, and if I don’t, it’s distracting.”