Thursday, November 03, 2011

Writing to No Music #nablopomo

Today's NaBloPoMo Prompt: Can you listen to music and write? What song did you hear today?

I prefer to write in quiet. Not necessarily silence, but a quiet and still atmosphere. Pretty music is nice to listen to, but when I write it is just a distraction. I've always been this way - even preferring to do schoolwork or run long distances without music.

Last month I went to a writing workshop at UCONN on a Saturday morning. It so happened it was also parents weekend, and a huge BBQ was going on outside our classroom window. Complete with a melange of party music. Hearing other words while I was trying to write my own words made thinking and writing next to impossible. As I'm trying to create lines, I'm hearing another writer's ideas mixed in with my own thoughts. I think this can affect the originality of my piece.

I also tend to lose my inner rhythm when music is playing while I write. My natural speech/writing rhythms start to flow with the music patterns I'm hearing. If I'm writing poetry, this is particularly detrimental. It's hard to stay on one particular meter/beat when you're listening to another.

Now, that's not to say that music can't be a starting point for inspiration. I definitely like to listen to music if I'm just daydreaming or brainstorming ideas. And some music is less intrusive than others - classical or music with no words is preferable if it has to be on.

But really... just give me the sound of silence...oh, wait... isn't that a song lyric? See, music affect my writing even when I'm not listening to any!

Do you write to music?

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