I know a lot of people who enjoy listening to music when they write. They find the lyrics soothing and the rhythms inspiring. Many of these people are also ones who listen to music constantly, giving themselves a soundtrack while they complete their everyday tasks, whether it be work, school, a commute, or just relaxing.
I have never been one of those people. I am a lover of silence, and of the sounds that exist when everything is calm. I adore the sounds of rain, and sometimes even snow. I find it peaceful and safe and conducive to intricate thoughts and musings. I don’t listen to music at home often, unless it’s Christmas music during the season. Anything else just distracts me.
When I am at work, though, in my lonely silent office (with no windows), I need something that will distract me. I need something that reminds me of the outside world, of the sun and the rain and the wind. I need something that takes me out of my own space into one that exists in my mind. This is where I use video game, movie, and TV soundtracks. I listen to Assassin’s Creed, The Hobbit, Celtic music, and many others, without lyrics. They remind me of things that I enjoy and with no lyrics, I can concentrate on writing. Which is what I do all day long. My job literally consists of writing for hours on end, and I quite appreciate it. But it does get lonely when all you can hear is the humming of your computer tower and the occasional buzz of your phone.
If i listen to music with lyrics I do one of two things: I will either block it out completely in order to concentrate, or I will accidentally start writing the lyrics into my latest blog post or onsite content. That doesn’t bode well when you are supposed to be writing about investment real estate and you start putting in words from one of Bing Crosby’s songs.
I’ve never understood the pull that many have to music, although I know it exists. I appreciate certain kinds, but I have to be in the mood. Just like I have to be in the mood to play a game or read a book. I have never been able to grasp the continuity of music in the lives of others. To me, it’s another way to pass the time, or to enhance a tedious task.
I think many have the misconception that if you are in artist in one way, you must be artistic in others. I don’t necessarily find that to be true. I cannot paint, and I can only draw if I really set my mind to it. It takes me ages to actually complete anything (and I have trouble drawing the left side of anything, though the right side usually turns out alright). I can’t sing at all. I tried playing various instruments and just didn’t find any interest in it. I have no desire to take up sculpting or dancing.
I am a good writer, and that’s where all of artistic energy goes. Even in terms of hobbies. I write, I read, I play video games (they’re basically just interactive books), and I bide my time doing other tasks that I favor as well. None of them are particularly artistic.
How about you? What do you listen to when you write? Are you also artistic in other areas? Where do your best talents sit?