Musical Serenade

Do you listen to music when you write? I’ve read about authors who have favourite bands they listen to while they’re writing and I’ve seen writing music playlists on YouTube.


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I was thinking about that yesterday while I prepared dinner. I’d put on Some Nights by Fun. and was cheerily mangling the lyrics as I sang along with Nate Ruess. Sadly, I didn’t inherit a single musical gene, but apologies to Nate aside, I couldn’t possibly listen to that CD and write. It’s simply too distracting. My favourite music charges me up, inspires me, sparks my imagination – but I can’t write while it’s playing. In fact, I stop what I’m doing to listen (maybe bop or even sing if no one’s around).

I remember when I wrote the first book, before I’d set up my writing corner, I managed to tune out an entire season of NHL while I wrote. I even managed to tune out F1 racing, house-cleaning guilt and, apparently, a number of conversations with my better half.

I suppose, being able to tune out and write is a blessing, but it doesn’t always work. Some things, like a ringing phone, I’m never able to tune out. Other days, my mood, the subject of my writing or sleep deprivation dictates my distraction threshold. I don’t know about you, but when I’m on a roll, like I was yesterday, even the most pleasant of distractions pulls me out of my writing cocoon, leaving me feeling like someone’s yanked the warm blankets off.

How about you? Do you listen to music while you write?

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About JP McLean

Author of The Gift Legacy, a contemporary thriller with a twist of fantasy that will leave you believing the impossible and wary of the night sky…
This entry was posted in Gratitude, On Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Musical Serenade

  1. Wendy Keeler says:

    Not a writer, but I nearly always find music (all music) distracting. Prefer listening to “talking” on radio or tv. What’s wrong with me?! 😉


  2. bgbowers says:

    It depends on what I’m writing. Sometimes I need 100% silence, and other times music is incredibly inspirational and even fuels my writing and the mood that I need to be in to write that particular piece.


  3. Karen says:

    Normally, it doesn’t really matter if there is music or not. Twice though, a song inspired me to write a short story. (I’m Into Something Good, Only You)
    Really distractiing are statements like “She’s in front of her laptop, again” 😉


    • JP McLean says:

      I wonder if it ever works the other way around? Where a story inspires the writing of a song? Thanks for commenting – I enjoy hearing how others write.


      • Karen says:

        As a kid I actually wrote ‘song texts’ after hearing and/or reading a story. It would be far-fetched to call these outputs more than just that. 😉


  4. olganm says:

    For me it also varies. I like to listen to the radio to get me going in the mornings and if I’m having a break. If I’m concentrating I won’t hear anything at all…But if the weather is terrible, sometimes listening to the Beach Boys helps…:)

    Liked by 1 person

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