Monday, July 05, 2010

Music and Writing

I love music. I hate silence. Serious, it freaks me out. As a teacher I get panicky when I hear NO noise, it means something BAD is about to go down. I need sound, music or the screams of a child to make me feel at ease.

When it comes to writing NEW material I found I can not listen to music I love. I can't do it. I start off writing about the character's mother and her relationship with the mailman and the next thing I know I've got Green Day Lyrics filtered through out. Or worst of all, I start to sing. No one needs THAT in their lives.

I can listen to the music I LOVE when I'm revising and doing line edits or doing a Seek and Destroy... that's what I call going through the entire document and cutting all the adverbs, that, just, pretty, all the empty words. I normally do a find and replace sort of thing in Word.

When I write, I need music I've never heard before. Normally I bust out my i-Tunes and start listening to my recently added list.

I won't lie, music is my biggest expense. I buy a lot of music. Why? Because the music is hurting more than the publishing industry. I know the band only makes 10% of the CD sales, but the band has a lot more people they have to employ.

Sometimes I use music I don't even like very much, artisy folk music where the musician isn't singing about sex and drugs, but about real life. I sort of hate that crap. Sorry if I offended anyone.

When finishing Penny and Hank I listened to Arcade Fire and the first Manchester Orchestra EP.

So what do you listen to when you write?

BTW- I've been away in BOSTON since Thursday. I've been writing the blogs ahead of time. I'm not snubbing you and I promise to get back on track when I get home.


  1. As another teacher, I know exactly how you feel - silence is just a little scary!

    I tend to put my iTunes on shuffle and let it go. When I'm in the first draft I rarely hear it anyway :)

  2. I love music, but I don't listen while I write. It's not silent in the house by a long shot, but I don't put any music on.

  3. Lately I haven't been listening to music when I write. (That's because it's been during meetings (shhh).) But when I listen to music, I try to set up a playlist of music that differs from what influenced me during my last project, but it has to be stuff I know otherwise I'll focus more on the music than my writing. Also, I'll sing offkey but thankfully Hubby doesn't care.

    And, it was great to see you this weekend!

  4. I love music as well, but I usually don't listen while I write - it has to be absolute silence for me (or rain).