Some people have to have absolute quiet when they are writing. I am not one of those people. I need some kind of background noise. A lot of times I get out of the house and let people be that noise. That’s not always possible though. When I’m at home, I like to listen to music while I write. For me, different music is needed for different moods. If I’m writing a fight scene, I’m not going to listen to R & B. If it’s a love scene, Metallic doesn’t normally fit. Everyone has different tastes in music so you have to find what works for you. Be careful here. If you are playing all your favorites, you might spend more time singing along than actually writing. I’m a hard rock kind of girl. There are many different types of hard rock. I have several Pandora stations set up for each type. What I like about hard rock is that it’s powerful music. I’m a lyrics person too but it’s really the music that moves me. My go-to station for general writing includes artists like: Breaking Benjamin, Seether, Tool, Chevelle and Shinedown. If I know I’m going to be working on action scenes then I turn to the station with System of a Down, Disturbed, Metallica, and Slipknot. If I need something with more ‘feeling’ I go to Hurt, 10 Years, Staind and Fuel. If there is an angry breakup involved I listen strictly to Theory of a Deadman.
I do listen to other types of music of course but rock has my heart. So that’s what works for me most of the time. For those rare times that I’m in the mood for something different I have an 80’s station and the one that plays the modern stuff by guys with whiny voices. Don’t judge. I don’t listen to songs sung by women when I’m writing. I don’t know why, but I find them distracting. Maybe those are the songs that I should listen to if I ever write an actual romantic scene. That doesn’t happen when most of my work is about magic, end of the world, dragons, minotaurs or demigods.
What about the other writers out there? Does music help you? What types work for you? Or does it distract? If you haven’t tried it, I encourage you to. Be sure to play with volume as well as genre.