Friday, May 18, 2012


I know music is really important for a lot of writers and they make playlists to map their books, or need to listen to certain songs or albums to write certain scenes.

I can't listen to music while I write.  Well, not music with lyrics in English.  I can listen to classical music, or jazz or stuff like Sigur Ros that have lyrics I can't understand, but anything else distracts me.  And that's proving a problem with my new book because it is about music.

I have numerous songs that have inspired me and musicians whose signature styles are informing my characters, but I can't listen to this stuff while I'm writing.  I've put together a playlist of songs that are templates for the ones the band in my book play, and have a very definite idea of the style and tone of the songs the guitarist writes as opposed to the one the singer writes.

I've been listening obsessively to this playlist when I'm not writing, and certain songs have been trapped in my head for days.  But I can't listen to them while I'm writing.

Do you listen to music while you write?  Do the lyrics distract you?


  1. I listen and sing to songs as I write. Mostly though, I listen to music for background noise. I tend to get so into the writing that it doesn't matter what is going on around me (though I do like to be alone while writing).

    Honestly, I can't believe some people can't write with music. Sitting in silence is more distracting than listening to music.

    Best of luck! I hope you find a balance.

    Konstanz Silverbow

  2. I cannot listen to music while I write either. The lyrics totally throw my off and I lose focus. Nah, I prefer silence when I write.

  3. I don't mind music when it's in the far background. I need a happy medium. I can't write in complete silence (not easily, anyway), but I also can't write with music blaring from my headphones or computer speakers. I'm with you that instrumental is easier to listen to, though sometimes I like the lyric - it inspires me.

    Best of luck with your WIP!

  4. I tend to listen to the same song on loop. The first time I get distracted by the lyrics and such, but by the tenth time I've entered a kind of zen state where it helps propel my writing. Yes, I'm aware this is weird, but it works for me.