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I am a writer that for a couple of years couldn’t write with any music or sound at all.
I needed it to be silent so I could explore my own thinking. I was extreme to the point where I would sometimes wake up in the early morning to catch those few hours of peace and quiet before the rest of the world woke up.
All that changed when I moved into a studio apartment with my husband. I didn’t have my own room so there was no way to late-night write without disturbing him. I had to learn how to write during daytime hours. This was fine because he was a student and out of the house quite often for lectures or social gatherings.
Then Covid happened, and we were both at home all the time. We were trapped in a 30m2 studio apartment without much room to breathe. My silence was ruined and I needed to adapt.
I bought myself a cheap set of headphones and tried my luck with some lyricless songs.
Compared to the sound of my husband working in the background, music was suddenly something that I was excited to write to.
Here are some of the ways music enhanced my writing.
Music helped me focus. I get into the writing zone way faster than I used to.
The rhythm eases me into the zone and I find that instead of being distracted, like I thought I would be, instead my fingers kept pace with the music.
I found it much easier to type for consistent amounts of time because my whole body, mind and fingers were keeping time with the music. It pushed me forward, and when it didn’t push me forward it faded into the background so it felt like writing in silence.
The only negative experience I’ve had with listening to music is when I put on a playlist that has too many songs I know the words to. Because of this I often listen to ‘new to me’ playlists, lyricless music or newly discovered bands that I don’t yet know the words to.
Picking the right piece of music when building up specific scenes or characters is a really fun way to write.
Putting on video game battle music when writing a battle scene or romantic piano during romance really helped me get into the mood of the scene much quicker.
Books have quite a few ups and downs and with scene changes, so you might have to switch emotional tacks quite fast.
Music makes you feel a certain way.
There is a bunch of science backing that up, so don’t be afraid to put yourself in the right frame of mind and let the music drive those emotional scenes.
Daydreaming is also easier when you listen to music.
I strongly believe that staring off into space is an integral part of the writing process.
That becomes easier to stick to when you are listening to music.
Often writers fill those gaps in time with social media or other distractions.
Listening to music makes sitting in that daydreaming space more comfortable. Pairing music with the scene you are building can encourage you to daydream about what you are writing, see it in your mind’s eye and then type the words on the page.
It’s been super effective for me, so I’m hopeful it will help you too.
As always, I cannot wait to see you on the bookshelf.