Monday, June 18, 2007

Writing Question of the Week: Music

Happy Monday, fellow freelancers! I do hope your weekend was teriffic, and to all the father's out there, I hope you all had a wonderful Father's Day.

This week's writing question: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kind of music helps you relax and get into writing mode?

If you don't listen to music, why not? Does it prevent you from concentrating?

I'm very interested to hear your feedback. It might seem like an odd question, but I'd like to open up some dialogue and hear what you have to say.

Best Wishes,




At 10:38 AM, Blogger Laura Spencer said...

This sort of depends on my mood and on what I'm doing. If I'm really trying to focus I need quiet. When I'm doing routine tasks music actually helps me.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Georganna Hancock M.S. said...

Nope. And if I were truly concentrating, I wouldn't hear the music anyway. Or, if I wanted to really hear the music, my eyes would close, and I think that might hamper my writing. However, sometimes I turn on a podcast I might want to sample and split my attention, usually with poor results!

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Denise said...


Thank you for your comment. Like you, I generally need to be in a quiet area to truly focus... but that rarely happens, so I've become quite experience at working in chaos!


You make a good point. I don't know if I'd really hear music either if I was in the writing "groove."

At 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to listen to a lot of indie rock when I wrote (I did a lot of writing about music back then though). Now, it distracts me a bit, b/c I think about my music-related work as opposed to my writing. I do, however, focus better on my writing when I have a TV series playing in the background. I rent DVDs to avoid commercials, and just let them run. :)

At 12:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely not! In fact, I've come to the conclusion that I need to find a dark hole somewhere in which to barricade myself down for some serious writing sessions. Even sitting in front of a beautiful scenery is way to distracting.

At 5:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find I'm much more productive if I have music on. I have satellite radio and usually just put on XM's Fred channel and let it go. But two particular CDs make me focus more than any others - Midnight Oil's "Earth and Sun and Moon" and Paul Simon's "Graceland." I have no idea why those two work for me; they just do.

Great question!

At 8:03 AM, Blogger Denise said...


Thank you for your comment. It's weird... for me, I can't listen to music when I'm working on my music-related writing. But at other times, I can. It's odd.


If you find two dark holes, let me know! I've been in the market for one for awhile now :P


Thank you for those specific examples! Once my laptop is back in commission, I'm going to have to experiment to see which music works best for me.

At 11:13 AM, Blogger NA said...

I listen to Dance Music (House, Trance) constantly when I am working, especially when I am working on my blog.
I keeps me going, and completely opens my mind to suggestions and ideas.
I definitely feel more creative, and ready to take chances, when I have it turned up.
It also makes the day go by very fast. The only problem is, when the day is done, I feel like going out every night:)

At 6:57 PM, Blogger Denise said...


Thank you for your comment! Your music choice interests me. I've never listened to that type of music while I'm working.

I can definitely see how that would make you want to go out at the end of the day, though :)

At 9:03 AM, Blogger NA said...

Please don't take this as shameless promotion, but if you are truly interested, I have a Dance Music 101 section on my blog that will give you a general description of the different styles of dance music, and some suggested, "Staples" for downloads for the "Dance Music Challenged"
I find that a lot of people are interested but have no clue who makes what, or what to buy. They only know they heard a song in the club, but nothing else.
There are a ton of internet stations to choose from to help you get your groove on.
I use iTunes myself, they have a nice selection of dance stations, and podcasts.
(124 Beats Per Minute)

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Denise said...


I am not taking it as shameless self-promotion at all. Thank you for the link. I'll have to take a look at it later :)

At 5:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just polled this not to long ago over at Writing Spark. I usually listen to music or my local NBC station (via radio) while I work. Very rarely do I need to turn it off to concentrate, but sometimes it happens depending on the project and how familiar I am with it.

At 10:17 AM, Blogger Denise said...

Thank you, Alicia. You've reminded me to pop on over to your blog to catch up ^_^

At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great question. If I'm writing writing (as opposed to just editing or other non-writing tech stuff like invoices, etc.) then I crank out anything and everything. I find it harder to concentrate when it's so quiet.

But when I'm really writing (whether an article or some fiction story), it'll generally depend on what I'm writing about. If I really need to concentrate, I'll put on some classical music or something heavily instrumental (like Pink Floyd). If I'm writing about something fun or upbeat, I'll just put on some hard rock and let it lift my mood while I type.

At 5:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be honest, I often have cartoons on the teevee when I write. I have to take periodic breaks, and I find that nothing clears my mind quite like SpongeBob. I often leave it on while I'm working.

I find that when I edit, I definately need noise in the background. If I am easily distracted, it means the sentence in front of me needs a lot of help. I often go to a bar or coffee house for that part of it. Editing my own stuff seems to require a printed page and a very different environment to get into the mood.

At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I can go with or without music. I have a mental switch that I turn on and off. I can also write while talking on the telephone (okay, but I have to proofread very, very carefully).

Nominated you for the Thinking Bloggers Award. Details here:

and on my blog:)

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong link in the message. See...on the phone might not be such a great idea.

At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I write poetry, music is often in the heart of my creativity. I listen to music when I do my design work as well. I also have CNN on the TV at times but I seem to tune it out. So music is more of an ispiration to me than news.

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Anne Wayman said...

Hi Denise, believe it or not I listen most often to talk radio... if I need to concentrate, I turn the radio off and work in silence.

Anne Wayman

At 6:04 PM, Blogger k said...

Well i listen to music most of time i work. It is so relaxing

At 6:17 AM, Blogger Dara Girard said...

What a very interesting topic. I'd have to think more about that. So, when is your next post going to be?

At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I listen to's Native American station. I think the drums really keep my blood and creativity flowing.


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