[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.”
For me, it’s a little complex. There are times when good music can get the creative juices flowing, but there are times when my concentration requires silence. It’s not so much mood music I’m listening to for writing as just good music that gets the mind flowing — and what precisely that is can be different every night. But, again, there are times when all that I need is the open window and the night peeps outside: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-HuHmhhWGI