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  1. hawls
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    hawls Active Member

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    Music or Silence. How do you like to write?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by hawls, Jun 2, 2016.

    When I was younger I had a playlist (on the old winamp) full of ambient and melodic music that I needed in order to write my stories.

    Nowadays I need total silence.

    I know a lot of authors like to have appropriate mood music playing that helps them write particular scenes.

    But for me, the music is a distraction. Especially if it's music I know well. My fingers would rather play along to the music as though the keyboard were a piano and all sorts of nonsense comes out on the page.

    I don't know why or how this changed for me but it makes me sad. Silence is very isolating. But I feel that in that silence I am more observant, more alert, and able to fully submerge myself in my makebelieves.

    Do you prefer writing to music or some other form of background noise, or like me, do you need total silence?
     
  2. A man called Valance
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    A man called Valance Active Member

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    Silence. No distractions.
     
  3. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Music. Mellow to intense assault upon the senses. \m/ :p
     
  4. Diane Elgin
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    Diane Elgin Member

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    Although I know it would help my writing, I simply cannot abide silence so before I write I search for the song I would play over use in a film adaptation or a suitable playlist of similar tracks for longer pieces. Often, this leads me to 'Space' instrumentals but when the mood calls for something more caustic, I tap the reservoir of my grunge years to strain my speakers. Many of my prouder conflicts have been written to a soundscape of Alice in Chains, barking dogs and complaining neighbors.
     
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  5. Shbooblie
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    Shbooblie Contributing Member

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    I cannot concentrate in silence at all. I end up getting distracted and losing my stamina. I like picking songs that suit the mood of the scenes I'm writing, right now that seems to be Bring Me The Horizon and Bright Eyes. Even in my academic writing I needed a bit of background noise, wrote my dissertation to Slipknot - had my fingers going so fast trying to keep up the pace, seemed to do the trick!

    Saying that though, I can only seem to come up with new ideas for scenes in silence (well as silent as journeys to work go), or with general background noise, rather than music.
     
  6. tumblingdice
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    tumblingdice Member

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    Music, definitely. I have a playlist for every one of my stories.

    One time I was writing and the power went out so I just stopped, saved the file and all. I'm completely serious. So if I'm ever stranded on a cabin with no electricity/internet I'd be screwed :D
     
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  7. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    I can do either, but I find I can immerse myself better with some music playing, especially if it suitable to the mood of what I am writing. Often my ideas come while I am in the car, listening to some music and thinking about the lyrics or theme of the song. When I go to write, I usually need to play that song again to access all the thoughts and ideas I had about it.
     
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  8. ToBeInspired
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    ToBeInspired Contributing Member

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    Either, sometimes a mix. If my surroundings are noisy, background music helps. If I play songs that I don't know my attention can deviate.
     
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  9. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    It doesn't really matter.
     
  10. JennaPeterson88
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    JennaPeterson88 Member

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    For me, I don't often have a quiet space, so I use music to drown out the world. I prefer music without (intelligible) lyrics. This week my go-to has been putting Sigur Ros' Takk album on shuffle-repeat.
     
  11. Senko
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    Senko Member

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    Currently I am trying this: first listen to some nice music. That helps me to improve my mood. Then, I try to write without the music.
     
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  12. Buttered Toast
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    Buttered Toast Active Member

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    I used to like silence, then I moved to listening to music and now I like silence again, I guess it depends on how I feel at the time :p
     
  13. Alex R. Encomienda
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    Alex R. Encomienda Active Member

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    I listen to music before I start writing. Considering the fact that most of my writing occurs at night, silence is inevitable. Plus I like to hear myself think.

    But lately Dream Theater's octavarium has been my theme music. I sometimes feel as though it empowers me.
     
  14. ArQane
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    ArQane Member

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    Music, usually epic battle music or emotional music. Helps me think of cool stuff. << "Cool stuff" 10/10 not listening to music atm.
     
  15. Vanthu
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    Vanthu Member

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    I never really get to listen to music while I write because I'm usually at school when I write. But, I think music would distract me too much.
     
  16. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    If I do have music its classical music, or binaural beats. I cannot have music with lyrics playing while I write. It causes me to lose focus on what I'm doing. I'm always curious about the different approaches people take to this question. I think it's wonderful that people can create under vasty different circumstances.
     
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  17. newjerseyrunner
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    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member

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    Depends on the mood of my subconscious. I usually start out in silence, but no matter how much I'm focused on what I'm doing, stray thoughts keep popping into my head and they drive me mad enough to stop. Music, especially songs I also play for some reason stops the stray thoughts and lets me focus for longer. I've come to the conclusion that my subconscious is focusing on the music. I've found though that I can't do that with instruments in the room because then the stray thoughts come back, mostly wanting me to play. I find this true for writing, painting, programming...
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
  18. Raven484
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    Raven484 Contributing Member

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    Silence in the mornings and music at night.
     
  19. FireWater
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    FireWater Active Member

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    I like music when writing, but I prefer either ambiance (not white noise, but more like trippy instrumental/meditation music), or metal-like music where it's hard to hear the lyrics. I usually find lyrics distracting, especially if they're "too fitting." For some reason, if the story in the song lyrics is too similar to the scene I'm writing, it almost feels cheesy, for lack of a better way to describe it.
     
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  20. CrusherBrooks
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    CrusherBrooks Member Supporter

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    Silence for sure, and not just for writing, I enjoy silence for just about anything. After all whenever you leave your own home you're assaulted by music everywhere, for no reason, anyway.
     
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  21. namin010
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    namin010 Member

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    For me it's either silence or classical music (very low).

    There is a 3 hour video of Mozart's piano sonatas on Youtube and I think I can concentrate better when I'm playing it.
     
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  22. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Silence. I can't write when there is any form of distraction. I sometimes play a track prior to sitting down to write, if I need to cultivate a particular tone, but I can't write and listen simultaneously. I can't read when listening to music either.
     
  23. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    I use silence or classical. Since classical has some scientific backing as good working music (tenuously). I might listen to music before I work though. If it's music I find inspiring or related in some way. I might envision something while I'm doing that.
     
  24. fivetoesten
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    fivetoesten Member

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    Silence for writing and for anything I would categorize as work. Hum on your own time :)
     
  25. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    Music for getting in the mood and silence for actual writing.

    I would listen to the same few songs that I relate to different scenes over and over again for weeks when not writing. Lately, that is 2 songs, replayed all day for over a month now. To work, from work, at work... The music makes me connected to my imaginary world when real life prevents me writing it.
     

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