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?