Musical Writing

Lots of writers listen to music while they write. I understand the appeal. Helps you focus and you get music while you work. It’s like multitasking.

I generally don’t listen to music while I write. Edit, yes. Write, no. It’s too distracting for me when I’m trying to create. If I choose to write while listening to music, it has to be something I love, yet can ignore. And I like it to kind of be relevant to the mood of what I’m writing, if possible.

As I was working on my WIP, Shifting Sands, I wanted to listen to music.

I went to this site: Chicken on a Raft

The song plays over and over automatically. It’s a real sea shanty (shanties and folk songs are great). It’s a fun song. And after the first minute, I can ignore it enough to write. (I’m listening to it as I write this post.) It has no relevance to the mood of my current WIP.

And that’s my writing-quirk reveal for today! Tune in next time…

When I was finishing the last of my editing for my last book, I listened to the soundtrack from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and a group called Chameleon Circuit, who does/did Doctor Who songs (I don’t know if they’re still a band or not). I also listened to music from the soundtrack of Pirates of the Caribbean 3. I tried listening to various symphonies of Tchaikovsky (5th, 6th, and “Manfred”, at a friend’s suggestion). I have had several plot bunnies sparked by song lyrics.

I am very well-rounded musically, even if I can’t write to symphonies, soundtracks, or Swift (Taylor). Apparently, my brain prefers shanties for this inky work.


14 thoughts on “Musical Writing

  1. I can’t write to music with lyrics. Movie soundtracks? YES. GIVE ME THEM ALL. I listen to one soundtrack on repeat until I finish the draft or edit…then I don’t listen to it again for YEARS. x) But I have it down super low, or I can’t concentrate.

    Now ‘scuse me… HEY HOOOO CHICKEN ON A RAFT… *song runs through Cait’s head for the next eternity*

    • Movie soundtracks are great. Do you have any particular favorites?

      Sitting there picking at a chicken on a raft! It’s the new It’s a Small World song. *nods*

  2. I can listen to music with words while I do stuff, but it has to be something I’ve listened to a million times already (like you said, so that I can ignore the words). And agreed on preferring it to fit the mood. Sometimes I’ll just listen to something fast if I feel like I’m writing too slowly, but usually I like the speed to fit the “speed” of what I’m writing.

    Movie soundtracks are growing on me, though…especially when what I’m writing doesn’t work well with Irish music, which I listened to almost non-stop during November since it did fit. Heh…

    Of course, classical music works, too 😉

  3. I don’t usually have a problem with the lyrics while I’m writing… I guess because I’ve found songs with lyrics to be less distracting than my younger brothers’ talking and such. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally stop and sing a little to particular songs, but it doesn’t happen too too often. Movie soundtracks are awesome to listen to while writing, though.

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