I don’t like writing in complete silence. I usually listen to music or watch some TV program as I write. To have a sort of semi-noisy background to lean on. I listen to my digital collection most of the time. And sometimes I put on a vinyl, but the problem (or the beauty) with those is that you have to flip the disc over every fifteen to twenty minutes, which means breaking the writing sessions into sub-sessions. Hm, not sure that really works for me.
The other problem (or beauty) of writing while listening to music is that it might be distracting. I usually start singing along to my favorite tracks, or I stop writing and close my eyes to let the music transport me. Sometimes this makes me lose my train of thought, and my writing gets stuck. Other times, I get into a kind of absence-presence, a state of being where emotions turn into words without me thinking about it. This usually makes some great poetry, but bad prose.
Singing along is doubled-edged too. At times, other artist’s words take over mine, and I find myself copying and stealing words from songs. Other times, someone else’s poetry sparks inspiration, and from a word of theirs I build a story of mine.
So what’s my writing music, you ask.
I have a couple of albums I like writing to. It depends on what I’m writing—blog post, poetry, novel, short story, journal entry, fairy tale, book or show review—and on the mood of the moment. My favorites (as varied as my writing can be) include Scorpions, Gotthard, Jason Mraz, and Billy Galewood. I like old classics, but I’m always open to new and alternative tunes. Just like in my writing: I love a classic thriller plot line, but I’m also seduced by the possibilities of alternative poetry.