Writing and Music

I used to write with headphones on and loud music playing. That was in my youth (what seems like a very long time ago) and was in part due to my living circumstances. I grew up in a happy, busy household and it was a necessary thing to cut off the hustle and fuss around me in order to find that special focus. Now, though, things are very different. The most productive writing sessions I have these days are just me in a quiet room (thankfully I have a place at a friend's house to go to sometimes) with no music or any other distractions. This is especially helpful during editing when acute concentration is required. During composition, however, I do still like to have some kind of background music. The best music is unobtrusive and, at best, inspirational in a filmic sense. I like to have a movie soundtrack playing - some of favourites are the soundtracks to movies like Batman Begins, Rocketeer, or Star Trek 2 or 3 (yes, there's a James Horner theme going on here). As J.K. Rowling said in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, "Ah music. A magic beyond all we do here."

What music do you listen to?


Greg Schwartz said…
like you said, unobstrusive music works best. i like quiet jazz, something with a good beat that can stay in the background, but i've found that the music that i listen to tends to influence what i write. darker, louder music lends itself better to darker stories.
Lee Moan said…
Hi Greg. Yeah that's important - the music has to fit the mood of what I'm writing. I can't remember which author it was who listed the music he listened to while he was writing a particular novel. It's so important.

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