View Full Version : What do you listen to when you write?

11-10-2006, 05:55 AM
I'm curious. I listen to a radio station on ITunes called, "Magnatune New Age". I can't listen to music with lyrics but the ambient style is perfect for me.

It puts me in 'the zone'.


Carrie in PA
11-10-2006, 06:02 AM
Usually classical. Sometimes I put the radio on, which is always on (gasp) country.

11-10-2006, 06:15 AM
Ditto to no lyrics. Usually something vaguely Celtic, though that's a pretty broad category. My latest favorite is Scythian's (http://www.scythianmusic.com) instrumental pieces - not sleepy-dreamy, not too upbeat, exotic enough to keep the story-mood going. (Not essential in a quiet house, but necessary to block out extraneous words from TV, conversation, etc.)

11-10-2006, 06:15 AM
It really depends on what I'm writing. I have very eclectic tastes, so it really varies.

Linda Adams
11-10-2006, 06:19 AM
Nothing ... but I also don't own a stereo or any music.

11-10-2006, 06:21 AM
It depends on what I'm writing at the time.

If I am writing for my pulp SF detective series, I listen to Elvis (yes, scary but true, he's got that pulp attitude).

If I'm writing for one of my YA series (coming in 2007-08) I let itunes pick the songs for me, usually from the 80s and 90s.

If I am writing my comic strip, I listen to more current stuff.

If I am doing any serious writing for graduate school I listen to Mozart.

If I'm on deadline I may not listen to anything.

11-10-2006, 06:21 AM
Count me in for nothing. I've tried, but it's distracting. I like listening to clickclickclick of the keys.

Rolling Thunder
11-10-2006, 06:33 AM
Nothing here, too.

11-10-2006, 07:15 AM
Nothing at all. Can't do it. Classical music is too damned exciting and every thing else skews my concentration. I like silence, something warm to drink and an ashtray.

And my dog. Gotta have the dog.

11-10-2006, 07:31 AM
The click of the keys does sound really gratifying when you're on a roll.

11-10-2006, 08:21 AM
Nothing ... but I also don't own a stereo or any music.

Wow. That is just so completely foreign to me I can't even comprehend it. I'd die without music.

Anyway, I listen to whatever it is I put on at the time. I don't find lyrics distracting, since half the time I can't understand them anyway.

Simon Woodhouse
11-10-2006, 08:32 AM
Personal play lists on my iPod are a current passion of mine. You can have hours and hours of music that never stops. This helps me mark the passing of time when things are going well, because I suddenly realise I'm listening to a tune that's halfway down the list.

11-10-2006, 09:13 AM
Nothing. It's too distracting.

11-10-2006, 12:56 PM
I generally start with something loud and work my way down to mellow which is odd as I tend to pick up speed as I write. I can't write to anything too funky (I once tried to write while listening to Stevie Wonder. It can't be done) but just about anything else is allowed.

11-10-2006, 05:38 PM
Depends on the project, usually whatever reflects the mood of the piece.

11-10-2006, 06:56 PM
Depends on what character I am writing about, but usually I have the headphones on, the volume cranked up to drowned out all the other noise in the house and once I get a train of thought moving, I don't even hear the music.

11-10-2006, 07:06 PM
Usually I'm listening FOR my kid while I'm writing.

Other than that, I listen to:
Whatever tV show is on in our family room.
My daughter's music.
My co-workers.
Other patrons in the diner I'm in (I love working in diners--don't ask why).
Nothing when I'm at the library.

I write when I can, no matter where I am. If I didn't, I'd never get any writing done.

If I'm lucky enough to be in control of my surroundings, I'll put on classical music, big band, or blues/jazz.

aka eraser
11-10-2006, 07:16 PM
No music for me when working. I find any sort of sound distracting except for the intermittent conversations/arguments with my parrot.

11-10-2006, 07:21 PM
I don't listen to anything either when I write. When I'm thinking about something in a story and trying to work through a problem, I'll listen to a variety of things.

11-10-2006, 07:27 PM
White noise - I have a desk fan and a space heater. Any music just distracts me right now. Maybe when BIC is more of a habit I can plug in my iPod and listen to zydeco.

Oh, and the cats trying to get in the room - they scratch and meow at the door.

11-10-2006, 07:39 PM
Depends on what I'm working on, but usually nothing.
Fortunately, I can tune out parrot yells and screams; after so many years with them, their sounds are just a normal part of the background noise. Unless they start screaming their alarm calls; then I have to go see if something is about to attack and kill us all.

11-10-2006, 08:10 PM
Depending on what part of the book I am writing, I like to listen to really sad songs, or heavy metal. I can't put on too dancey of stuff though because semi-dancing at the computer and typing don't go very well together.


11-10-2006, 08:11 PM
I'll listen to pretty much anything depending on my mood, but usually it's celtic, new age, or alternative rock. Sometimes jazz or classical. I find that I can really write to Coldplay, Loreena McKennitt, or Clannad.

Little Red Barn
11-10-2006, 08:48 PM
Count me in for nothing, it's distracting enough in my house!

11-10-2006, 09:20 PM
Usually nothing. Sometimes though, the writing will be going exceptionally well and I'll be on a high, and in those times I like to listen to instrumentals (usually guitar). I like upbeat Hindi music, too. Since I write in English, the lyrics don't distract me.

11-10-2006, 10:13 PM
Sometimes, anything at all. SOmetimes, I'm in the mood for specifically heavy metal (I just wrote a good chunk of work listening to Nevermore) and sometimes classical...or at least, orchestration. I have a particular fondness for video game soundtracks, like the wonderful Final Fantasy soundtracks (seven and ten being my favorites until I can get my hands on twelve).

Sometimes, my wife's in the room while I'm writing and she'll listen to all manner of things I don't like. It's just white noise, mostly.

Anthony P. Steerpike
11-10-2006, 11:04 PM
Jazz. At a pretty low level. Lots of Coltrane and Miles. Right now, Keith Jarrett.

11-10-2006, 11:15 PM
I listen to music constantly, my playlists are fairly long so I don't pick music to write along to. However, whatever I'm listening to while writing basically becomes the soundtrack of what I'm writing.

...and if I have writer's block, I begin to make AMVs of whatever I'm writing in my head. >.<

11-10-2006, 11:18 PM
my husband snoring!

Soccer Mom
11-10-2006, 11:33 PM
LOL--Just background noise for me. whatever is going on in the house. Cats, dogs, kids, hubby, TV, tractor noises from outside...etc.

11-11-2006, 07:23 AM
Just whatever I'm in the mood for. Right now I am listening to the Eagles and their 'Desperado' album. I've been in an Eagles mood these last few hours. I might continue listening to them, but then again, I might put something else on. Maybe the Beatles' 'Let It Be' album, or Boston. Maybe a soundtrack. Just whatever happens to suit my fancy as the LP I'm listening to now eventually ends.

Sometimes, I don't listen to anything while I'm writing. Other times, I do. It's just a matter of how I feel at the time.

11-11-2006, 06:28 PM
I create playlists for the novels & tend to keep them on repeat when I write. Switch texts=switch playlists. On the other hand, for short fic I listen to whatever strikes my interest that moment. For poetry or nonfic, I don't listen to anything at all. Ditto on proofreading. I need silence to proof.

Fun topic . . .

Lady Cat
11-11-2006, 08:11 PM
When it's my choice I'll usually listen to something instrumental, otherwise I'll waste too much time trying to make out the lyrics - I don't like it too loud. Usually I'll have a variety on the CD player: classical, celtic, new age . . . and I'll set it to play randomly.

11-11-2006, 08:30 PM
If the wind is right, and it's not below freezing out, I open the window next to the computer and listen to the ocean. Don't need a cd for that!

Other times, I listen to classical music. I love Pachelbel's Canon in D. I could listen to that over and over, and get a lot of writing done.

Another one I love around this time of year is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Go here (http://www.trans-siberian.com) and listen to the audio. Great stuff to write by!

11-12-2006, 01:49 AM
the wind whistling through my ears. ;)

11-12-2006, 02:17 AM
I like to listen to opera when I'm alone in the house and writing (I can't write when my family is around!!!). Only problem: I want to sing along, and sometimes that's not good for the writing...


11-12-2006, 04:02 AM
Nothing at all. The words on my screen are my music.

11-12-2006, 04:13 AM
I listen to inner voices, he he.

11-12-2006, 04:35 AM
I listen to inner voices, he he.
Problem is, when I answer them, they don't listen. :Shrug:

11-12-2006, 09:44 PM
Nothing ... but I also don't own a stereo or any music.

The expression on my face rivals that of your avatar. How can you live without music? lol!

11-12-2006, 09:55 PM
None of the above: TV

11-13-2006, 12:20 AM
I have my own 'soundtracks' that I listen to. Music that reminds me of a scene or a character I'm writing for. I normally can't write with the tv on, it distracts me too much, pulls me out of what I'm trying to write. For some reason, music doesn't do the same thing for me.

11-13-2006, 12:50 AM
I try to listen to the type of music that coincides with what I'm writing, if I can. It helps get you in the mood and write clearer.