Many writers I know not only need to listen to music as they work, but some even require scene-specific playlists! Personally, I can write with or without music, depending on my mood and environment. However, I really love looking to other creative mediums for inspiration, so when I’m not sure of what to write, I find music can be helpful in the early stages of my process.
In this post, I’m going to share some of my favorite “drown out the world” music. In other words, this is what I plug into when I’m in a public place trying to write, and there’s that one person who laughs just loudly enough to shake my focus.
I was introduced to this track by Tortoise during a dance class in college. Dancers work with a lot of music that is also great for writers, particularly when they’re warming up. The repetitive nature of this track helps me gather my focus and drown out any distractions, especially in noisier environments:
If you find that a busy, bustling restaurant or bus station is the perfect place for you to get your writing done, then music by The Books might work for you. They create tracks using found sounds, many of which are people speaking or making familiar, domestic noises. Some writers I know find such music distracting, but it has helped me when I’m in semi-quiet spaces (i.e. a not-quiet floor of a college library) and struggling to focus:
Sometimes, even a truly quiet place can pose focus problems: maybe there is a single clock that’s ticking just audibly enough to drive you insane, or the fluorescent lights are humming a little too intensely, or you can hear the person at the next table sighing. (In case you were wondering: yes, I am a Virgo.) I find that more soothing tracks can be useful in such situations, like this one by Sheila Chandra:
I hope that you find these selections helpful! I really love sharing music to write to, so expect more posts like this in the weeks to come.
Until next time, may you find lovely melodies and strong rhythms with your words!