Friday, April 15, 2011

M is for Music

And for The Magnetic Fields

Music is my on switch. Music means GO. Music means the door is shut, stay out, I'm working. Music is an engine.

I can't write without music. I know for a lot of people that's counter intuitive, they need silence to compose their thoughts and words. But for me, I need an almost pavlovian signal to start. That's music.

It's not only in writing. When I worked for a non profit producing events, most of the time my office door was open, the music was off and I was answering emails, phone calls, questions fielded to me from the doorway. All good, but all fairly superficial work-mode. If I needed to concentrate on budget numbers or detailed floorplans or anything at all that involved higher math skills - the door would close and the music would come on.

The kind of music I listen too is important too. When I'm brainstorming I can listen to internet radio like Y Rock on XPN or Pandora. When I need to be immersed in the world, be in the room with my MC, soundtracks work best. I've got two playlists right now on iTunes, writing 1 and writing 2 that I can use to get me in the writing groove.

Is music a motivator or a distraction for you when you are working? What do you listen to and when?


  1. I remember in "On Writing", Stephen King mentioning he liked to write to AC/DC, Metallica, etc... I personally can't imagine being able to concentrate with such a barrage of riffage, but obviously it works for him... I can only write along to calm, wordless music like Brian Eno & Harold Budd's The Pearl or Pieter Nooten & Michael Brook's Sleeps With The Fishes... and even those can distract me too much...

  2. I try to pick music that matches the theme and mood of what I'm writing, because otherwise the music can be a distraction. I've found that editing to Enya and Loreena McKennitt (probably butchered the spelling on that) works for me, though.

    I did a shout out to you on my page in the form of an award.

  3. If I don't have music...I can't write. Music helps me drift off to my imaginary lands..without it I would just be lost...drifting!

    Great post! I found you through the Blogger Challenge..I am also taking part. Love the blog!


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