Reader Friday: Start the Music?

Some writers like to write to music. Others to coffee house sounds (JSB raises hand). Still others in complete silence. What’s your preference?

How about light or darkness in your writing space?

21 thoughts on “Reader Friday: Start the Music?

  1. I used to have a playlist. It ran for one hour, which was a great way to measure keyboard time. I never made one for my mystery genre writing, but when I was writing “Remaking Morgan”, where the protagonist was a classical pianist, I asked Alexa to play “Solo Classical Piano” so I could find pieces my character might have played. (And because I needed to drop some titles into the work.)
    Side effect: the dog was very interested in the music and would come in and listen.

    • Forgot to answer the lighting question. Light. Doesn’t have to be too bright, because the monitor is bright enough, but I don’t like sitting in a dark room.

  2. A wide range of musical styles, but usually something I enjoy anyway… old familiar bluegrass, country, rock, especially Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers, Chicago – “jam-band” kinda things that slip into the background… working in silence tends to be more distracting…

    I guess by natural light… like painters, a good window facing north helps more… no shadows, not “hot-spots,” but enough to see the shadows shift…

  3. Headphones on, music cranked, songs from my playlist entitled, “Writing Music.” No matter what emotion I need, I’ve got several songs that fit.

    Light. The sunroom I turned into my office, so I could watch wildlife out my windows while deep in thought. Although, I also love to write in the early mornings before the sun rises. So, I guess I’m both, light and dark, as long as the darkness isn’t at night after my brain shuts down for the day. 😉

  4. Silence or classical music.

    Lighting – well lit space, but I keep the curtains drawn so as not to be distracted by the beauty outside.

  5. I generally write in silence, but occasionally put on a classical music background. I also like coffee house background sounds, but the coffivity app stopped working and I haven’t replaced it.

    I’m not sure it matters whether I write in light or dark. As long as I can see the screen, I’m not aware of the light level. Like Steve, I close the drapes so I won’t be distracted by the outside beauty.

  6. Generally, I demand silence while writing. There have been times I listened to Mozart with success, but I definitely can’t listen to music with words. On the other hand, chilling out and listening to music is my favorite way to get ideas and meditate on my WIP. Maybe that’s the cause of my music ban while writing: music is reserved for relaxing inspiration, writing PREP.

  7. Silence. Can’t concentrate with music b/c lyrics distract me.

    Natural light is best, looking out the window at a birch tree, commuting deer, and lots of birds. To the side is the sliding door to the patio where eastern gray squirrels hang out. If I”m too slow serving their peanuts, one particular squirrel climbs the screen and glares at me.

  8. Silence is golden for me. I do keep a window open, and I can hear bird calls and orchard machines, especially this time of year.

    I keep the blinds in my office closed, except for the one open window, but there’s enough light that I don’t feel I’m in a cave.

    I’ve often mentioned to my husband how cool it’d be to have a writing gazebo out under our massive poplar and pine trees. So far, the idea lives only in my head. I’m not sure if I would be able to concentrate anyway, because I love watching the critters when I’m outside. 🙂

  9. Music. I have headphones on and write to music. I create playlists for different moods, and I play the heck out of them. I created an April 1985 playlist of tunes taken from the Billboard 100s for that month, music that speaks to me, like Howard Jones, Til Tuesday, etc. I also use movie scores and synthwave—Marvel ‘83’s albums are a favorite because they evoke the 1980s, and can be used while rewriting. When rewriting, I generally avoid lyrics.

    Light, though because my writing room window faces south, the curtains are drawn in the afternoon.

  10. I write in silence or to classical music. I’m particularly fond of Mahler, especially Symphony 2 (The Resurrection), conducted by Gustavo Dudamel (You can find it on YouTube) and Symphony 8 (Symphony of a Thousand), conducted by Leonard Bernstein (1975–also on YouTube). With both, though, the writing has to stop for the sheer beauty of the final 10 minutes.

    As for lighting, my office has lots of windows and no blinds or curtains. At night, my desk lamp is plenty.

  11. In general, I have to work to sound. Music, TV (but not while streaming a show, that requires me to pay attention), or just outside with nature noise.

  12. When I remember, I connect to classical music or sometimes blue grass or Phantom of the Opera–I’m good with about anything as long as it doesn’t have words…if it does I type the words. Will check out John Gilstrap’s recommendations…

  13. I’ve always had the ability to tune out the sounds around me, if less than a jackhammer. I love classical music and almost everything but rap, which is not music. I normally wear headphones and write in the dining area of the main room in our house, with my wife watching 70s game shows and reruns at the far end.

    My writing table looks more or less east. out on our back yard, where squirrels cavort from time to time amidst the greenery, or a neighborhood cat passes through, or a peacock, or an occasional hyena. I have yet to see an elephant.

  14. MUSIC? No. Total silence.

    LIGHT: Natural light through blinded windows. But the real key for me is the computer’s monitor light. I color manage my screen. Usually have it set for 4000Kelvin, 2.2 gamma, 120cdls. Kind of a dusky campfire light. And bonus points if you know what those numbers mean. 😉

  15. I gotta have quiet in order to write. Lighting is medium although I probably need to do a better job of improving lighting to balance out the bright light from the monitor.

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