Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Music and Writing

It's strange. I almost always listen to background music while I'm pre-writing and writing — it calms my mind and helps me focus — but I absolutely can't listen to music while I'm editing. Don't know why.


Myrhaf said...

Some of my favorite CD's to listen to while writing:

Holst, The Planets
Sir Malcolm Arnold, Film Music, Vol. 2
Herrmann/Hitchcock, A Partnership In Terror
Wagner, Overtures
Rachmaninoff, Orchestral Music
Tchakovsky, Orchestral Music

Toiler said...

You listen to much more evocative music than I do. Mine has to stay in the background or it will take my mind away from my work.

Sometimes I listen to Ride, an extended mix of The Cure without lyrics, or the Cocteau Twins, or for more serious writing, I go for classical guitar, Enya, and other new age instrumental. It's really just "sound" more than it is music.

Myrhaf said...

I actually have Ride. Mogwai also. Spacy stuff. "Hunted By A Freak" is amazing. I find that classical music is, as you note, more evocative.

Jennifer Snow said...

It's probably a matter of subconscious vs. conscious activity. I like to listen to music in the car when I'm driving a regular route. I turn it off when I'm looking for an address I've never been to before, because it at least partially occupies my attention and I need ALL my attention. I don't do it consciously, it's just that the music goes from being pleasurable to being an irritation.

I experience the same thing when I'm writing or editing: when I'm writing, it's like driving a regular route because my subconscious automatizations are steering. When I'm editing, though, I'm working a lot harder and more actively on a conscious level, checking every street sign, watching every turn.

Toiler said...

Jennifer, I think that's exactly right.