Music and the Muse
by Randy Ingermanson
When you’re writing a full-length novel, you’re going to spend a lot of time typing your first draft. Probably at least 100 hours, and possibly much longer.
Anything that makes you more creative during those hundreds of hours will pay off hugely. It’ll take you less time to write your first draft. And your first draft will be better.
I recently asked a number of writers if they listen to music when they write. The reason I asked is because I’m convinced that music makes me write faster and better. (I can’t prove this, but I feel more creative and more productive when I’m writing to music, and that has to count for something.)
I got back four different kinds of answers:
Silence is Golden
For some writers, any kind of music is a distraction. They need silence. If they could get a sound-proof room, they’d hide away there to write.
I was surprised at this, because I hate silence. But this may have been the biggest group.
Nature Sounds are Magic
Other writers thrive on nature sounds. A babbling brook. Waves. Rain.
If this is your thing, you can find online sound-generators to give you whatever kind of nature you need.
And some writers like the sounds of a coffee shop, whether a recording or the real thing. I know a few writers who use the local Starbucks as their office, because the atmosphere puts them in the mood to write.