Thursday, July 2, 2009

To listen . . .

. . . perchance to be inspired?

Maggie put out a call for help in compiling some mood music to help her get through her rough draft. She received many fantastic suggestions. As I clicked on a few of the links and listened to some amazingly inspirational arrangements, I wondered . . .


I've heard many authors discuss their play lists and I never ever considered trying to write while listening to music. I know I'm not the only one  who prefers a cone of silence while writing, but, as I really stopped to think about it, I realized I never have a cone of silence.

During the day, my usual "mood music" is Spongebob Squarepants, Wonder Pets, Wizards of Waverly Place, or whatever the kiddies have decided to put on the television. We have a TV in the living room, but they insist on coming into my bedroom/office and turning on the squawk box in here any time I sit down to write. And I allow it to assuage my guilt at sitting in front of my laptop instead of running around the yard with them (though I do that sometimes too).

If it's not the kiddies, it's hubby flicking through the channels. And if by some miraculous twist of fate hubby decides to take the kiddies away and leave me to write in "peace" I've still got the dogs barking and the macaw babbling . . . so technically I don't work in silence anyway. Now I'm considering the possibility of finding some "mood music" that's actually, you know, MUSIC.

Of course, I have no idea where to begin. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to work with vocals blaring in my ears, but some nice instrumental inspiration might be okay.

I do have access to iTunes and I'm not afraid to spend a few hundred dollars on some good music . . . but what if I go to all the trouble and find out I can't work with music serenading me? Or what if I pick the wrong songs and end up going WAY off the path of where I originally intended to go?

And here's where I beg knowledge from my friends/enemies/stalkers/who-ever-has-an-opinion-about-such-things.

For those of you who DON'T write with mood music, why don't you? Have you tried it? Was it horrible?

For those of you who DO write with mood music, why do you? What made you do it? How does it work for you? Have you ever been thrown off track by choosing the wrong music for a particular scene?

For those who know my writing, what type of instrumental do you think would be appropriate for my "mood music?"


Listen on?


  1. Gosh, you know when I was teen-ager I studied, wrote and did whatever with rock blaring.

    These days I mostly go with no music. If I do have music playing it'll be soft jazz (no lyrics)by somebody like Bill Evens or classical. But not heavy classical with lots of orchestra and crashing crescendoes, something "light" like, Baroque, or Spanish guitar, or piano pieces.

  2. This has been a new thing for on while writing. Before, I would turn it up to get the brain juices flowing, but then off it would go when time to write. More recently I have tried writing with the music and I loved it, but it needs to be just music, no lyrics.

  3. I've gotten used to writing with no music, but I've been experimenting and I think I like having some "mood" music.

    But it poses a problem because it's kind of time consuming to find the right music for each scene. I'd rather spend my time writing than trying to come up with a play list.

    Of course it might be easier once I've gotten back into the "music scene" and am more familiar with the music (I don't really listen to ANY music at all . . . not even while driving) and can pick out a few appropriate pieces to fit the mood.

    So I may stick with it a while longer.

    I agree, Valerie and Bish, no lyrics are best for me; though I don't mind some "vocals" (oohing etc.).