On Music, and writing while listening

If you’ve ever been on a date or tried to get to know someone as just a friend; I’m willing to bet some insignificant amount of money that one of the questions that almost always get asked is, “What do you like to do in your spare time?” or some iteration of that question. One of the most common answers that I’ve heard in my lifetime to that question is, “Oh, not much: I listen to music, watch movies, and play [sport/video game]”

Here’s the interesting part – I’ve never heard anyone skip the music part. Everyone loves music, granted not everyone likes the same kind of music, but most people love music! No surprise there, since there’s research out there that suggests that when people listen to music, their entire brain lights up like a Christmas tree under an fMRI, not just the parts that deal with audio information processing.

So, it’s no secret that music will jumpstart the creative centers of the brain, among other places. I’ve known this to be true for a very long time. I always listen to music when I write. In fact, I doubt I’d be able to write without getting distracted without it. I remember when I was in middle-school, I attended this workshop where the people conducting it wanted to teach us something about creative writing. Most of the details escape me now (this was something I did when I was in the 7th grade, after all). Anyway: I recall that we were in an auditorium of some kind, just sitting there (there was a group of maybe 20 students) listening to these authors. At one point in time I asked one of them “how do you write a best seller?” and they all looked at each other and basically shrugged. Turns out, none of them had ever written a best-seller in their lifetimes… and I was just thinking to myself, “If you’ve never written a best seller, what’s the point of you teaching a workshop on creative writing?” I never said this to them, of course. Even at that age, I knew better than that. But, I couldn’t help but think it.

So, before I get too ahead of myself, let me say this: That workshop wasn’t entirely useless. In fact, that was the first time I discovered that writing with music playing in the background was amazing! Well, for me it was. Ever since then, I’ve been writing with music playing in the background. I’ll usually listen to instrumental tracks, but there are always exceptions. In the workshop, they had us writing to different classical tracks. Not my kind of music, but it was music and it worked nonetheless.

Depending on the kind of music I’m listening to, the story may vary, the events may change. It’s my story – and since I have 100% creative control – I can do whatever I want… within reason, of course.

Well, that’s all I have to say regarding music. I know the end of this post as abrupt, but I’m running on very little sleep.

4 thoughts on “On Music, and writing while listening

  1. I agree with you! When I write I love listening to relaxing/classic or nature-inspired music. It really helps me concentrate more easily. Whenever I write in a place with birds I don’t need it though. Their tweeting is inspiration on itself!

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    1. I love to listen to soundtracks (movie soundtracks, anime soundtracks, doesn’t matter). More specifically, the works of Hiroyuki Sawano are my jam. 😀 But yeah, music is amazing!

      Liked by 1 person

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