The Writers Circle: The Sounds of Silence

TWC
One of our goals here at Today’s Author is to help all of the writers among us to do what we love to do: write. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by talking to each other and learning from each other.  Our Writers Circle series is designed to do just that – provide a chance for us to discuss writing, editing and publishing questions.

This week’s topic is:

When you write, do you need to have music or other noise in the background? Or are you the type that prefers the only sound you hear when writing to be the sound of a pen going across the page or fingers tapping on a keyboard? Have you come up with any theories as to why you have this preference for noise or silence when you are writing?

Let’s discuss this in the comments and see what our community thinks.

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11 thoughts on “The Writers Circle: The Sounds of Silence

  1. When I write, I like there to be music or the radio for bakground noise that I’m in control of and can turn up and down as I need. I often zone it out anyway, but I like it to be there.

  2. I cannot write in silence. But it has taken me a while to understand that though I require noise, it has to be noise that I won’t interact with. If I plug in my iPod, I’ll start singing along with the music, which distracts me from writing. If I put something on the TV that interests me, I’ll pay attention (even if it’s just sort-or-paying-attention). So for me if it’s TV, it’s probably something repetitive like the ESPN highlight shows. If it’s music, it has to be something I’m relatively unfamiliar with. But what works best for me is the din of a coffeehouse or restaurant.

  3. I can write in either, but I found that when I play my book’s soundtrack that the words will flow smoother. It also helps to drown out the background noises that may otherwise distract me. -RB

  4. I don’t need music to write, but I often find that if I’m struggling with a scene putting on the scores of movies I love or relate to my novel (read: putting on LoTR and the Hobbit scores and occasionally Game of Thrones) really gives me the inspiration I need.

  5. The music I need in the background varies based on the type of writing I am doing. For non-fiction — be it an essay for school, a performance review at work or a 100-word bio for a writing event — I need to have The Cars Greatest Hits playing in the background. I do not know why this is, but I discovered during high school that this specific album made it “easy” to write non-fiction stuff and it continues to be that way now, some 25 years later.

    For fiction, it used to be that it could be anything playing in the background. Even the television was fine. Silence was bad. But now that I’m older, I find music without words to be better to write to. Not necessarily classical music, but soundtrack music from movies or shows are fine too (I am particularly fond of the Star Wars soundtracks as well as the Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV) soundtrack).

  6. Silence….Blessed Silence, or the background noise at a coffee shop or at Barnes & Noble. I am easily distracted by music or by having to change a CD. TV is impossible. I can’t even think if a TV is on, even if it’s muted.

  7. I love music, but I find it distracting when I write. My theory: My brain is so noisy, music is just one more layer of confusion. You know what I mean, writers–characters chattering, running, smells from wherever they are. That stuff I have to pay attention to. Music, not so much.

  8. I need music or background sound. I need to make playlist before writing something. But If I still have no idea about the things I should write –but I have write- I will just listen to the people around me–the things they are talking about- or the sound of the coffee machine, or just simply, the sound of the rain.
    My theory is, anything around us can bring some new ideas. Music also help me imagine the situation and build the same feeling of the scene I am writing.

  9. I usually write with background noise of some kind, music or tv , like so many others, I tend to tune it out. Tonight I am writing at a truck stop, the thrum of various engines are humming in my ears. I’m actually on a ride along with my son who is a professional driver. It’s after midnight and I am feeling very creative, I’ll be on the highways and byways for nine more days and I begin my Nano journey on the road. Wish me luck!

  10. Music for sure, classical or classic rock. Drowns out the creaking in my old head, er, the creaking in our old house. Sometimes I even dance or sing.

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