Mostly I don’t. I usually have the music on.
For isn’t writing the loneliest profession in the world? No one to talk to. No one to bug me. No one to laugh with. No shoulder to lean on but the hard edge of my computer screen.
So music is the saviour. That friend playing away in the background keeping me company. But what sort of music?
Stephen King plays hard rock and pretty loud too. That’s what he says in On Writing. I can’t do that. I listen to all kinds of stuff. Well, not really. All kinds of music I grew up with, that is: so pretty limited to late 70s and 80s.
These days I’ve been playing more classical because after, well decades, of listening to the same repertoire, you just have to move on. I’ve even sampled some opera. Not showing off or anything, just becoming more desperate.
Whilst I sit and write, there is some music I can play and some I find too distracting. As a big Bobby fan (yeah, that’s Bob Dylan) I cannot write with him in the background. He demands attention. Makes you want to listen to what he’s saying. So I never write whilst Bobby’s on. Bobby’s good to cook to though.
The other thing is the news or any DJs talking. Speech makes me want to listen. So for me, it’s usually the CD player and not the radio.
Right now though I’m listening to silence. But not really. There are muffled sounds upstairs. There’s the quiet hum of traffic. There’s the keyboard tapping.
I wonder if certain types of music brings out the best writing in me.
What do you write to?