Posted by on December 1, 2009 at 8:50 am.

What do you listen to while you write?

Well, actually today I’m wearing my editing hat instead of writing, but ne’ertheless I have this awesome Celtic-ish piece from Final Fantasy (yes, the game) playing in the background. Talk about setting the mood for the medieval romantic fantasy I’m proof-reading.

My tastes have morphed over the years. In the beginning, I wrote at work (my supervisor told me to make myself look busy – he didn’t care what I did, so…) Back then I was limited to the muzak that played through the lobby. When I really got into writing at home, I listened to the City of Angels Soundtrack. It was the one collection that when it came on, it cued my brain to write. (kind of like Pavlov’s dog). I’d listen to it on repeat for hours.

It worked for the longest while, and I’ll still use it if I’m stuck.

Nowadays, the only music I can’t listen to while I write is something that I also like to sing along with. Abba is definitely out as is Evanescence, The Eagles, The Rankins etc. … oh and Christmas Music.

Actually Christmas music and I have a strange relationship.

I used to have to force myself not to start playing holiday tunes until the first of October. Christmas, to me, is a feeling of joy and gathering of family. I don’t much go in for all the commercial stuff so it makes me feel good instead of stressing me out. But then I moved almost 6000km from home.

During November I don’t dare play it on the years I’m heading to the East Coast for the holidays or I’ll become a happy, sappy mess and NaNo will fail horribly. On the years we don’t go home (my youngest brother and I share a house), we tend to ignore the holidays as much as possible. Not going home makes the entire season very painful.

So what do you listen to when you’re writing? Does it change with your mood? Do you switch it to help you create the tone for the scene? Or do you put something on and it fades into the background? Or are you like some I know who prefer to write in silence?

Curious minds want to know.

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