The Word Nerd Co-op

June 23, 2008


Filed under: inspiration — Beverly @ 6:23 pm
Tags: ,

In keeping with the last, fantastic post about sharing where we write, I thought I’d pose the question–do you listen to music when you write?  If so, what?

I often don’t unless I have an emotional scene or a difficult scene.  Then I try to find something with the right mood to really help me get into it.  I usually try to make the music I listen to something sans words, or in Spanish (I don’t understand too much Spanish), so that the words don’t influence me, but I still get the mood.

How about you?



  1. I tend to listen to music all the time, including when I write…but especially, like Beverly, during really emotional scenes. Music to me is intrinsically tied to emotion, so when I write, and the emotions are pouring out, it is natural for me to listen to music. I even have different playlists on iTunes to fit different pieces that I am working on.

    Great question!

    Comment by apriljaimi — June 23, 2008 @ 9:25 pm | Reply

  2. I can only listen to music without words, or in other words, classical & instrumental. Mahler and Tchaikovsky are my favourites but if I need some happiness music i will turn to Adiemus. It must be a piece I’ve never played with orchestra as then I get too distracted about the music. I prefer French horn or cello if there must be a soloist (if I turn to Mozart, for example). This limits my choices somewhat but not drastically. I’m actually pretty pathetic about my music choices and selections which on reflection is a surprise.

    I like to listen, but if I am not and there are no other noises in my background I’m ok.

    Several years ago, I had a pink noise application I used, but I’ve not tried it lately.

    By contrast, my husband can do his homework (he’s in b-school) and code with the TV on. If I make him turn it off, he turns on a police/fire/air traffic control scanner because he needs that sort of “music” constantly in his background. Instrumental music doesn’t work for him.

    Comment by penny — June 23, 2008 @ 9:59 pm | Reply

  3. Wow, what another great question.

    I listen to music constantly, even when at work. Good thing I write and edit for a living. I don’t think I could go a day without music. How pathetic, I know.

    I have an eclectic collection, and I think that the music I choose is based upon my mood, not necessarily characters or storylines. However, there is one exception to this. I listen to Evans Blue (alternative genre, unlike the other selections; this is a more lyric driven choice) and Stabbing Westward and Puscifer (industrial rock genre; a more sound driven choice) when I am writing my vampire novel. I’m not sure, but those sounds put me in the right frame of mind for those characters and scenes.

    I’m an odd character…lately it has been Sarah Brightman for the fantasy/myth short story I am working on.

    Comment by serena (Savvy Verse & Wit) — June 24, 2008 @ 10:04 am | Reply

  4. Music and sound definetly drive my writing. I most often find I need music without words (an old favorite–don’t laugh–is the original Star Wars or Braveheart soundtracks). However, the current peice I’m working on takes place in WWII jukejoints so I’ve been listening to a lot of music from that era to get a feel for it. Its amazing how certain types of music can drive the emotion of a peice. I once tried writing down in the margins of my notebook that I plan/map/preliminary write in what it was I was listening to in a half baked attempt to study my own writing. It didn’t last that long cause I got too wrapped up in writing that I tended to forget to jot down what I was listening to!

    Comment by Tina — June 24, 2008 @ 3:10 pm | Reply

  5. Like Serena, I have music on most of the time. I’m not generally picky about how it fits with the writing–often I just listen to my favorite local radio station, the Current (, which is very eclectic. Silence makes me sleepy. 🙂

    Comment by Amy — June 24, 2008 @ 3:43 pm | Reply

  6. LOL! I hear the music in my head that goes with the scene that I am writing.

    really though I usually do want it quiet around me so I can hear the story in my mind as I write it.

    Comment by Paula — June 26, 2008 @ 6:43 am | Reply

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