Do you prefer the sound of music or the sound of silence?
My first job as an in-house feature writer was for a boss who thought he was a DJ. Articles were created with a bit of Superstition (Stevie Wonder) and a whole heap of Faith (George Michael). Typing on a vibrating keyboard seemed normal. By contrast my next employment treated coughs as major sound explosions. Learning to write under both conditions was a valuable lesson.
Although my dream would be to write from some sort of authors' retreat – preferably one with a vow of respectful silence, coffee making facilities and a free mini-bar – the reality is that life is noisy. Families, flat-sharing, pets, next-door’s enthusiastic D.I.Y – being able to concentrate despite distractions is a bonus. If, like me, you are creating time for your writing around other full-time commitments, then you simply cannot wait until conditions at home are perfectly quiet.
Luckily, thanks to that first job, I don’t mind a bit of noise while writing. Often I will play music from the decades within my story, creating a feel for the atmosphere surrounding my characters. If I am struggling with a scene then a loud burst of sound and a brief-but-bad sing along will nearly always save the day. However, I do prefer quiet when writing dialogue.
Do you like to listen to music when writing?
My blog: http://jayneferst.blogspot.com/
Music While You Work: http://www.whirligig-tv.co.uk/radio/mwyw.htm