I've enjoyed reading everyone's posts on the topic of music. I am a portrait of contradictions. I love music in the car, music at home, music at church, music at work, music at parties—you get the idea. But… I don’t like music while I write.
Why no music?
I really don’t know why I ban music from my writing sessions. It’s not a rebellious streak or an effort to go against the grain. I just get so easily distracted, and can’t write with “noise” in the room. And that’s weird since I’m fine with having music playing while I’m at work, which involves writing.
But for me, creative writing is an entirely different kind of work. For me, it’s hard. I don’t know if that’s a bad sign about my writing future, but with the exception of a few pieces that seemed to create themselves with me only there as a scribe (which pieces I was a lot less impressed with upon further review), I usually have to toil for what I write. It feels like it takes every spare cell of my brain. My theory, then, is that I don’t have enough brain space left to process music or anything else. I think this theory also explains why I can’t write with anyone else in the room—even anyone else in the house sometimes. I have a hard time writing at a park or library for that matter because of all the conversations and interactions all around me. Odd, but I guess at least I recognize my process.
The Solitary Plight
Maybe I’ll get more comfortable with writing and my process over the years. Maybe down the road I’ll expand my mind and better learn to multi-task so I can handle some lyric-less music as I write. But if not, I’m okay accepting writing as a solo-mission… and a silent one at that.
P.s. – Check out this very revealing article on the process of many of our generation’s most acclaimed writers.