Writing Habits – Music

Today we’ll be continuing our analysis of writing habits with another divisive topic: music. The number one feature we have here at theOffice is a surprisingly difficult one to achieve – silence. It’s all whispers and quiet voices here during the few times that people are actually speaking. Phones are set to vibrate and calls are all taken outside, all you can hear is the occasional loud-typer and the drip drip of our fountain.

A quiet space to get all your thoughts together and down on paper is great, but maybe there is something to be gained from a little noise?

Personally, I love music. I know I’m not the first to say such, but I REALLY love music. The beat, the pacing, the emotion, the lyrics. A well crafted song is just as impressive as any novel or screenplay. However when it comes to writing, my love of music can be a real hindrance.  I can get easily distracted by lyrics that catch my ear and lose track of just where I was going with my work.

Many people prefer ambient music or instrumentals to keep them on task, and with the right headphones this can definitely help you create your own quiet space wherever you are. It can put you get in the zone and keep a steady pace of words on the page, but I think you can take it a notch higher.

I’ve been working on something rather high concept, based around a very real issue that can be heard as the focal point of many songs. There isn’t much I love more than putting together a good playlist, so as a passive way of working on my script I threw together a playlist with songs in relation to the topic I’m writing about. This way, rather than get distracted by the lyrics I’m listening to, I’m getting inspired!

If you keep up the habit of exclusively listening to a certain playlist when working on a certain piece, you’ll be able to subconsciously trick yourself into getting in the head-space you need to be in.

Where do you stand on Silence vs. Music? Do your habits vary or are they pretty regular? We’re always interested to hear about writing habits, but if you come in to chat, we ought to take it outside.