Inspiration is the key!
I’m sure many writers, including the famous and popular ones, have come across this sort of dilemma, at least in relatively recent times. Can listening to music help writers achieve a higher state of concentration, or is it misleading and doing the exact opposite?
Whatever surrounds us will always contaminate our minds. We’re surrounded by gestures, noises, lights and environmental stimulations and that can help shape the vision one has in mind; because that’s what it’s about. Writing is about explaining (or trying to explain) what the writer’s vision is all about, and this process needs to be thoroughly completed in the most exhaustive manner. As much as these elements can be counted as positive in some occasions, they can also be considered as misleading. They can disturb the writer as they write: the door slams, the winds blow, the phone rings, the dogs bark, someone yells, someone laughs… that does not help!
So, let’s go for music.
Put your earphones on and press play. What can music do, at this specific time? Will it be helping? As it isolates the writer from the outside world, one cannot help but wonder if it can distract the writer in the same way as the others elements would. There should be a few rules which can help music become inspiring instead of distracting:
1. Choose the genre carefully. You want tracks that are somewhat related to what you’re writing. Classical music is the best choice, but you can choose according to the plot/timeline of your book, or choose something that inspires you a lot.
2. Keep the volume as high as necessary. You do not want the outside world to distract you again, but if you play this music loud it will become your main focus, and you do not want that! You’re not there for music, but your book! It needs you focused!
3. Stop playing it from time to time. There’s only one way to know if this system works for you. Stop from time to time, or correct whatever you’ve written during the listening phase once you’re finished and find out if it helps or not.
I find music quite relaxing, mostly classical or jazz music. It’s top choice for bookstores, isn’t it? It makes me want to pick a book and read it with a book open in front of me. If this excites you as much as it excites me, then go for these genres and you won’t regret it. Music is more helping than distracting when it comes to writing, but it’s a subjective thing!
Photo by presta.