Music for Writing

My Favorite Domer finally sent me a belated birthday present, and I couldn’t be happier!

It’s a CD from the Band of the Fighting Irish for the 2003 season, and besides including all the favorites — the Victory March, the Alma Mater, Damsha Bua (the Victory Clog), and Hike Notre Dame, to name just a few — it has a little jazz (Birdland), some rock (Bohemian Rhapsody), some oldies (Saturday in the Park), classical (1812 Overture), and whimsical (Mario Medley).

As someone who spends a lot of time at my computer, I really appreciate being able to choose different styles of music to listen to. When I’m doing Web Design, I find myself tuning in to rock, usually something with lyrics (especially those I can sing along with!). I find it helps me focus (especially if I’m just doing routine maintenance on a site I’ve created!). But no way can I write fiction with somebody singing — too many words, and I’ve lost all track of my storyline!

So instrumental music becomes my primary companion when I write (and re-write). I often opt for classical — Mozart is a perennial favorite — and I have a stack of CDs and an MP3 loaded with hours of background music. In addition, MFD has compiled numerous CDs for me (“writing music,” he calls it) — everything from hard and soft rock (no lyrics!) to movies themes, piano and other instrumental selections.

One of my writing buddies is the exact opposite. She can’t write with any music in the background (she calls it “noise”). I wonder if it’s true that one person’s “noise” is another person’s “music?”  Whatever, I find it distracting to listen to things like the pipes creaking, branches scraping the gutter, and even owls hooting — must be because I write suspense fiction!

How about other writers out in blog-land? What’s your pleasure — music or silence? And, if music, what type?