Most of the time, I listen to music as I’m writing. One part of my brain likes to sing along with the song whilst the other part is typing the words I am thinking. As I’m writing this, I’m listening to the rock artist Shinedown. It’s a great life hack for me because it helps me concentrate and streamline my thoughts, but it won’t work for everyone. My husband doesn’t particularly care about music, and when he wants to concentrate he needs quiet. For me, quiet has too many little, annoying, unexpected noises. To each their own.

The main pro to listening to music as I write is that it blocks out the world around me. As long as I have earbuds, I can be in a crowd or party or around the computer that decides it wants to whine and still focus on my story. The music blocks out the background. Another great thing about having music as my background noise is that my mood-in extension the mood of my writing-is effected by it. If I need to write a sad scene but am feeling too flamboyant, I can simply listen to the right playlist and it gets me in the mood.

The biggest kahn (con) behind listening to music as I work is that it somewhat trains me to ignore music I like. Once I really get into the writing groove, my brain begins to ignore the music it was singing along to. In fact, that’s what is happening right this very moment. Thousand Foot Krutch is singing to me, and I’m barely paying attention. This makes me miss songs I enjoy interacting with, but I guess I can go back and listen to them later. The only other kahn to listening to music as I write is that sometimes it makes me want to just sing along or dance, and I can’t focus on the story. The more I think about the music I’m listening to, the more it becomes a distraction.

I have three characters who need certain music to appear on the page. The first of these characters is Glasses. He really likes AC/DC, Queen, and similar “classics.” Whenever I hear “TNT” by AC/DC or “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen, his story pops into my head, and his character goes “WRITE ME!” Tessa also has music that makes me think about her. She likes rock with a female lead singer, such as Halestorm. Star reacts to heavy metal like Beartooth or emo rock like My Chemical Romance.

Music and writing work together for me. Maybe music would help you concentrate, maybe it would be a bigger distraction. Or maybe like another one of my friends you need to listen to instrumentals from bands like Two Steps from Hell or Lindsay Sterling. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, find something else.

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