|"The Color of Sound: Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar" by Gene O'neill|
CD cover image by Tom M Franklin
Anyway, let's just say that I do most of my writing either in bed, on the couch or at the dining room table.
In Kiersten White's humorous "18 Easy Steps to Becomming a Writer" (found over at Chuck "How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack" Sambuchino's Guide to Literary Agents site) she writes the following:
Step Seven: Realize you need music. Spend the next hour finding the perfect "mood" music for what you want to write.This tied in quite well with something I'd been giving some thought to lately.
When I'm doing my 40-hour a week werk gig I tend to have a steady stream of music playing through iTunes or Pandora. My iTunes playlist is a diverse mix of 80s alternative/new wave, ambient/new age, acoustic fingerstyle guitar (including my copy of Gene's CD, of course), gregorian chant, classical, celtic, blues, (what my friend Jaime called) Loud, Fast Stuff, and some TV theme songs and Tom Lehrer thrown in for good measure).
When I'm writing, however, it's a different story altogether. (Heh. Get it?) When I'm working on Draft Zero it really needs to be silence. No music or TV in the other room, no sounds other than maybe the white noise of a fan. My mind is too frayed trying to stay quiet enough to listen to the voices in my head so I can write down their words. If I need to drown out the TV in the other room, I have earbuds and a number of heard-so-many-times-I-can-almost-not-hear-them pieces of ancient acoustic music (renaissance lute and guitar) and some equally familiar recorded Hearts of Space episodes.
When I'm editing (Draft One through Draft Okay-Send-This-Thing-Out), I'm okay with instrumentals -- new age/ambient music, acoustic fingerstyle guitar (hi, Gene-o!) and any one of a multitude of lesser-heard HOS episodes. I'm still trying to listen to the words as I say them in my head, so any music with its own words is in competition for my headspace and gets skipped over right away.
p.s. Don't forget -- you have one more week to enter to win an autographed copy of Alicia Bessette's "Simply from Scratch"! I'll be picking a winner one week from Tuesday. Just click through the link above and (a) follow my blog and (b) leave a comment at end of the entry. Really, it's that simple!