Thursday, October 7, 2010

Do You Whistle While You Work?

So, do you guys listen to music while you write?  I think I am pretty much the only writer that doesn't listen to music while I work on my projects.  I have to have complete silence, or else I can't concentrate.  Here is what my book would look like if I listened to music while writing:

Gaga Nuala kept very still.  She closed her eyes and drew a deep breath.  Something was wrong.  She could feel it in the deep morning air; the faintest stirring, like a bad romance rustle of wind in the trees.  But there was no wind.  She opened her eyes and looked at the bright sun, as it began its ascent into the sky.  Her poker face eyes dropped, and she surveyed the land around her. no music for me.

But music does inspire me sometimes. 

 Like when Selena Gomez's song Naturally came out, I envisioned my book being played out during the song like a trailor for a movie (in slow motion and very dramatic of course).  But then my mind took it a step further and envisioned Selena Gomez singing every song in the movie, and of course the movie would be a made-for-tv Disney flick starring none other than...Selena Gomez.  And then I threw up in my mouth a little. 

But, I do listen to music in my office at the library while I work.  There, I have to have it.  My boss and I can pretend we can sit in companionable silence, but in reality it's just that awesome awkward silence that happens when there is just two of you in a small space, with the clacking of keyboards and crunching of candy (okay, that would be me).  So we listen to the radio. 

But that's different.  I have no one in the room with me when I write, and anything can be a distraction for me, including music (and coffee houses or libraries for that matter- those small sounds magnefy 100 times for me...which is interesting since I'm pretty much deaf). 

Thats why I also can't write while Little Monster is awake because this is what happens when she is:

Me: (finally finished cleaning or watching a show, I creep into my room while Little Monster has been quietly playing for a whole 30 minutes...finally I can get some work done)
I hear a rush of wind next to my ear just as I open my laptop
Little Monster: (appearing out of nowhere- grinning at me, her face an inch from mine)  Watchya doing?
Me: um, some work.
Little Monster: (hovers her chocolate-covered fingers over my keyboard (where'd she get the chocolate??) Can I have something to eat???
Me: Um...weren't you playing in the other room for like, 30 minutes while I was sitting on the couch?  You could have asked me then.
Little Monster: (stands and just stares at me with that huge grin still plastered on her face) Can you write, 'I tooted' on your screen? (she breaks into hysterical laughter, flinging herself across me and my keyboard, successfully wiping out whatever I had written in the two seconds before she found me)
Me: (sighing) Okay, lets get you something to eat

Yeah, so no writing while other things are going on in my house.

So, my writing regime: I need complete silence, and basically for everyone to be either a)gone from the house, or b) asleep.  So its a small window of opportunity, but I make it work.  It's what I have to do for the time being, and I can deal with that.

So what's your regime?  Do you listen to music while you work?  Do you need to be alone, in your room with no distractions?  Or can you go to a cafe or library and write there?


Anonymous said...

HAHA! Love the post, Abs! I am exactly the same! I always want music on when I am working on pics and such, but if I am writing anything - it has to be silent. Back in my college days I could NOT write papers at the library or when my roommate was in the room making any noise... weirdo, huh!? At least we are weirdos together! :)

Colene Murphy said...

I can write wherever. Noise doesn't bother me. But when I do everything else, sort of, disappears and I zone out. Bad for when I'm at work or my hubs is talking to me or something but being able to zone out and tune everything else out is useful.

But I don't have a child either, that would be really hard! So you are a true writing warrior to be able to have a novel while raising a child!

Anne said...

I'm used to a lot of chaos while writing. At times though, I've had to politely ask the Hubs to stop yelling at the TV while playing Halo.

Anonymous said...

Noise isn't a really a factor for me. I could read in the middle of Times Square while remaining fully immersed in my book, and it's pretty much the same with writing.

As for music, I tend to blast it while I'm staring at my pages (pantser, not a plotter), then turn it off and write in silence once the words have come.

Abby Minard said...

Corey- I couldn't write papers either when my roomate was in the other room. I always had to go to the school library, and when I went there, I had to be in the back corner on like, the 3rd floor where nobody went.

Thats good to be able to zone out- I can't even do that while reading- I get so distracted by the smallest things.

Haha, Halo- I can totally relate, Anne. For me, it's hubs talking on his ear-thingy while playing WOW.

Wow, Kelly- thats a total feat considering Times Square is like a huge, swirling vortex of tourists. Thats cool, to be inspired by the music and then to be able to write.

Ryan said...

I'm with you Abby. I need complete silence and zero distractions. I LOVE when my wife takes the kids to the in-laws overnight! :)

Abby Minard said...

Definitely Ryan- I don't get it much since the inlaws are 3 hours away, but it's nice when I home and my daughter in school, and the hubs at work. I can get a lot done then (just not the housework lol)

Lydia Kang said...

I listen to music for inspiration, but I'm a lot like you. When it's on, I don't write as well. Silence is better (broken up with some music breaks!)
Thanks for following my blog, I'm a new follower here too!

Abby Minard said...

Lydia- thanks for following me too! I'll try not to let you down on this blog ;p

Yes, music breaks are a must. Although my breaks usually consist of watching "my shows".

Mohamed Mughal said...

Cute post :)

No, I don't listen to ANYTHING when I write. I need complete silence (to include turning off the phone ringers).

Abby Minard said...

Mohamed- I'm glad I'm not the only one!

Andy said...

Music is critical to my writing. Not necessarily what is playing (with a few exceptions)but instead the tempo and mood of the music has to be right for me to write well