I used to go around saying, “I write to Be-Bop Jazz, but do all my editing listening to Baroque.” I guess the sentiment was that the free-flowing jazz was intended to inspire my originality, while the rules and formulas of Baroque music should help me edit properly. To tell you the truth, I listen to Jazz plus a whole lot of other things when I write. And for the most part, I don’t listen to any kind of music while I’m editing. You can do what you want, just as long as it suits you. But I would recommend that all Creative Writers listen to music while they write.
Listening to music is fun. It helps us relax. just this alone helps Creative Writing. But the brain goes through the same creative process as the composer when listening to music. That means we who are authors put our creative brains on steroids when we listen to music. And science has further found that this takes place latently, which means if you listen to music but don’t concentrate on the piece, you brain still is effected with more creative capacity.
Sorry, No Lyrics
This is a preference, and not a rule. And I’ll admit, I break it sometimes. But it’s best to listen to music that has no lyrics. To be honest, I greatly enjoy music with lyrics. But it is not preferable when writing. Now for the reasons music works so well in embellish our creativity is because it blocks out our logical side of the brain just as it enhances the creative side of our brain. Add lyrics and it creates confusion in the brain. I don’t want the lyrics to interfere with the words I’m trying to put down on the page. The last thing I want is to build to a great climax and look back and see that I typed, I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day. The only words I want in my brain are the ones in my story.
Block The Block
Writer’s Block often occurs when the logical side of the brain interferes and chokes out the creative side. Music works the creative side and shuts off the rational side, so there is no bossy side of the brain cutting of our magnificent story telling. Let’s face it, we all know that Writer’s Block comes from thinking too much. And quite often it comes from striving for perfection. Music allows us to let our stories flow and we can worry about perfection when he get to editing.
I love music and I love good stories. How lucky am I that both can work together? And in addition to everything already mentioned, if we are writing in a public place and people see the ear buds going to our ear, they’ll leave us alone. That help our writing as much as anything else.