I write for a living*. And over the years I’ve realized that I can only listen to certain types of music while I’m writing.
· Instrumental music—Classical, Jazz, Electronic, Dub Step, a 15-minute shredding guitar solo, whatever. As long as there aren’t any lyrics or vocals to distract me, I’m able to concentrate just fine. Old favorite: Beastie Boys—The In Sound From Way Out
· Foreign music—Spanish and French are my favorites, but I’ll take anything I can’t understand. Any good Klingon rock albums out there? Current go-to: The Best of the Gypsy Kings
· Albums I’ve heard a thousand times—If I’m hearing an album for the first time, I can’t write anything—too distracted. Play that same album after I’ve heard it a few times and it slowly fades into the background to become a sort of languid wallpaper. Current indie darling: Washed Out—Within and Without
· Catchy songs I listen to again and again—Curse you Katy Perry, with your loose morals and virulent T.G.I.F. If a song hooks me and doesn’t let go, I just hit play, over and over and over again, until it submits to its place in the background**. That and it’s just easier to keep playing the same song if it puts me in a good, steady writing groove. Song that just topped 63 plays in a row: Blondfire—Walking With Giants
Anyone else run into this with music? Is it just a writer thing? I know an art director who can listen to a whole movie while he works. And, of course, there are those seven dwarves with their incessant whistling …
*Not this blog. Heavens, no.
**Wow, that was sort of an aggressive sentence. I might need to switch up my music playlist soon.