The Dragon, the Mouse, and Listening While You Write

This week I’m borrowing an idea from a fellow blogger. I just read a post by John (at his blog “All things books, all the time”) in which he answered the question, “what do you listen to while you write?” You can read John’s post here.

music notesThis question made me realize that I rarely listen to music while I write. I used to. Often it was whatever music happened to be playing at the local coffee shop. At home I prefer a variety of Pandora channels: Feist, Ingrid Michaelson, Joy Ike, classical piano. I find that music provides a soundtrack for the work I do that can be alternatively relaxing or energizing depending on the style I choose and what I need most at the time. I usually only get distracted by it when it’s too loud or too complex.

Dictation software complicates my desire to listen to music while I write.  If the volume is turned up too high, it could lower the accuracy of the dictation. And because I’m already hearing the sound of my own voice, the addition of music can be frustrating instead of a relief. I do still sometimes write at coffee shops where I can enjoy background music, but I find myself more frequently deciding to read in that environment than write because the software tends to experience more interruptions.

This isn’t a sob story. I still listen to music often when I’m reading, driving, cooking. I do this because I love music and the way it can almost immediately make a bad day good. Also, I’ve noticed that I tend to have more writing ideas when I’m listening to enjoyable sounds whether it’s music or the hum of activity at the local Starbucks.

Question of the week: What, if anything, do you listen to when you write?

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