Author Topic: Music While Writing  (Read 1709 times)  

Offline Nikolas TorVald

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Music While Writing
« on: January 13, 2018, 08:46:12 AM »
What music do you guys listen to when you write, if any? I always find it helps me to tune out the distracting thoughts in my head. But at the same time, I can only do it when the music itself isn't too distracting. I was hoping for artist suggestions since I'm running out of them myself.

Offline German_Translator

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2018, 08:55:52 AM »
For translating, I sometimes listen to Baroque composers - Bach, Vivaldi, Telemann. Nothing vocal - even if it is in a language I don't understand, that messes with my mind. Somehow the instrumental music is both calming and inspiring.

Here is an example:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XIBC5uR-6U

Just a few of the books I have translated (English <-> German)

Offline Dennis Chekalov

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2018, 09:07:22 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JmprpRIsEY" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JmprpRIsEY</a>
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Online Kal241

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2018, 09:13:18 AM »
What music do you guys listen to when you write, if any? I always find it helps me to tune out the distracting thoughts in my head. But at the same time, I can only do it when the music itself isn't too distracting. I was hoping for artist suggestions since I'm running out of them myself.

I have a playlist of well over three dozen songs on YouTube, and a backup on my iTunes account with even more songs. Whichever ones get played depends on A) My mood/the scene's mood B) What I'd want to have playing in a movie version of the story C) Whatever happens when I hit the shuffle button.

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Offline SND

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2018, 09:27:59 AM »
Soundtrack to The Fountain by Clint Mansell.

Offline Skip Knox

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2018, 09:49:49 AM »
I go to the Internet Archive and get various ambient, psybient tracks for free. That place is a treasure trove.

Offline northstar

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2018, 10:02:49 AM »
I can't write with music, but I do use it as inspiration and to get in the mood for writing. I have playlists for my books, and play them if I'm on a walk or something, just to get my brain ready for entering that world. I find it really helpful.

But as soon as I'm at that computer, I need quiet!

Offline Tizzy

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 10:10:33 AM »
Instrumental music only, as I've found music with words distracts me too much - I could say music in languages I don't speak, which used to work, but the more languages I've learned the more difficult that is. I wrote most of Salem's Witches while listening to celtic music, while most the first draft of my current project was written listening to Tchaikovsky.

Offline Joseph Malik

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2018, 10:53:09 AM »
It really depends on the tone of what I'm working on.

I have a tendency to put one song on loop for hours when I'm drilling down on a scene and a piece of music really captures what I'm going for. Combined with my obsessive pen-clicking, it helped convince Household Six that spending some of last year's profits to capitalize a Fortress of Solitude behind the garage would be good for both of us. Everybody's happier, now.

I'm building a Spotify playlist of the music that I listened to most when building this book, and I'll be sharing it publicly and posting it on my blog, and likely linking to it inside the book, for any readers who are interested in that sort of thing. I've also given shoutouts on Twitter to artists whose music has helped me knock out a scene, and a couple of them have struck up conversations with me. Gotta love the age we live in.
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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2018, 10:56:33 AM »
I like sounds more than music usually. Sometimes, I'll put on sounds of a train, or songbird by a river, rain on a tent. For some reason, those really work well for me.  8)
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Offline Alan Felyk

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 11:41:16 AM »
When I'm writing, I visualize my novel as scenes in a movie that are set to music. Sometimes I pick several songs that represent the music or mood of what I'm about to write. Other times I begin writing and the songs come to me as I add words to the file.

I have an eclectic iPod playlist for Damaged Beyond Recognition that contains 269 songs. It starts with "Time Has Come Today" by the Chambers Brothers and ends with "Back in the World" by David Gray. In between, I have such songs as "Show What I'm Looking For" by Carolina Liar, "Band on the Run" by Paul McCartney and Wings, "Mohair Sam" by Charlie Rich, and "One More Time to Live" by the Moody Blues.

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 12:00:27 PM »
It's very rare that I write without music.

Everyday writing, I listen to kpop, but if I'm REALLY trying to pump out the word count, I usually opt for the Soundtracks to the Pirates of the Carribean (or Doctor Who), or Lindsay Stirling. Stuff that has a good, fast beat to work to but doesn't have words. Soundtracks are gold for me, though only if I love the music first.

I find that if i pick one and stick with it, I do better word counts--i.e., for each book it might be different, but for that book, it stays the same. With Staff & Crown, it's all Pirates of the Carribean. With one of my earlier books, it was the Monkees and Jung Yonghwa. Next book, it will probably be Lindsay Stirling again.

Just get a playlist you can listen to again and again, and stick with it, because then your brain will switch on every time you switch the music on--because that's how you'll train it.

Offline sceptique

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 12:16:28 PM »
When I'm writing, I visualize my novel as scenes in a movie that are set to music. Sometimes I pick several songs that represent the music or mood of what I'm about to write. Other times I begin writing and the songs come to me as I add words to the file.

I have an eclectic iPod playlist for Damaged Beyond Recognition that contains 269 songs. It starts with "Time Has Come Today" by the Chambers Brothers and ends with "Back in the World" by David Gray. In between, I have such songs as "Show What I'm Looking For" by Carolina Liar, "Band on the Run" by Paul McCartney and Wings, "Mohair Sam" by Charlie Rich, and "One More Time to Live" by the Moody Blues.

Yep. I do the same.
I actually made a YouTube mix of the songs I used for the book I've been working on last year. Something like a video scrapbook with music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZc4tW1dh3w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAmIHgjWLig

Mostly Jamie Cullum (he reminds me of one of the main characters) and Russian teen band T.A.T.U.

And the whole story arch fell into place with Sia's "Alive" came out. As if it for written just for that book.
I had about two-thirds of it written, then finished the rest in five weeks, just listening to this one over and over. :)
Wonders of the right soundtrack!
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 12:26:51 PM by sceptique »
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Offline Klendark

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 12:23:15 PM »
What music do you guys listen to when you write, if any? I always find it helps me to tune out the distracting thoughts in my head. But at the same time, I can only do it when the music itself isn't too distracting. I was hoping for artist suggestions since I'm running out of them myself.

Epic trailer music (2 Steps From Hell, E.S. Posthumus, Audiomachine, Thomas Bergersen, Future World Music, James Horner, Epic Score, Raman Djawadi, etc.,) and traditional Celtic.

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Online BrianDHoward

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2018, 12:24:10 PM »
I always write with background music. I do one of two things, depending on what I'm needing to focus on in the chapter.
I'll have a Pandora list built around the genre to keep me in the feel of it. Generally those are soundtracks, whether it's superhero or space opera.
I'll also have a mix for each POV character. I curate the playlist that character would listen to. I find that really helps me sink into that person. Plus now and then I can pause and ask what they would think of a particular song. I've had that spark additional ideas and scenes.
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Offline Dennis E. Taylor

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2018, 12:30:40 PM »
I like sounds more than music usually. Sometimes, I'll put on sounds of a train, or songbird by a river, rain on a tent. For some reason, those really work well for me.  8)

Me too. Channel 434 on my cable service is "nature sounds".

Offline P.J. Post

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2018, 01:05:27 PM »
I always find it helps me to tune out the distracting thoughts in my head.

This. I use isolation studio headphones (the kind that cover and seal around the whole ear), so music helps me to pretty much tune out reality, too.

I listen to lots of different music* and try to match the emotional vibe with the book (or specific scenes) to keep me in the right head space. I'm in the middle of a cyberpunk novel now, so I'm listening to The Sneaker Pimps' Becoming X and Portishead and trip-hop mixes, as well as sound tracks: Cowboy Bebop, Blade Runner and the original Ghost in the Shell.

For the earlier Palimpsest/Feral books, it was The Deftones and lots and lots of old Yes (especially, Fragile) and Zeppelin (especially, loops of the live versions of No Quarter and Dazed and Confused and Achilles Last Stand). The tone and exploration shifted gears for Young Parisians, so the music shifted as well, to a steady stream of No Doubt, Hole, Veruca Salt, Garbage and old Heart...and still Zeppelin.

I wrote my Punk series to Evanescence's first album, and, of course, lots of early 70's punk, like the Clash and the Ramones and the Sex Pistols, but also 80's hardcore punk like Black Flag and The Dead Kennedys. By the end of the series, I had added a little bit of Rick James for flavor, and a healthy dose of Blondie, Korn, Slipknot and System of a Down, and...um, on yeah, Evanescence.

I also throw European metal into the mix from time to time, if a sense of epicness is required, like Iron Maiden or Eluveitie's album, Slania. (When it comes to fantasy, this album is so, so unbelievably epic...you know, if you're into that sort of thing.**)   ;)

So, yeah, music is a huge part of my process, I'd go so far as to say a critical part - as well as a lot of fun.  :)

It really depends on the tone of what I'm working on.

I have a tendency to put one song on loop for hours when I'm drilling down on a scene and a piece of music really captures what I'm going for.

Glad I'm not the only one. You know, to some, three hours of looping the same three-minute song might appear, I don't know...obsessive?  ::)

*With the exceptions of Pantera and Ani DiFranco: I can't even...they always engage me to the point that I can't concentrate on anything else. I have to stop doing - everything. Living in Clip is such a great album.

**If you're not already into folk-fiddle-melodic metal or Celtic death metal, this may take a few listens...FFS, they play the hurdy-gurdy and bagpipes, and often sing in the extinct, ancient language of Gaulish. How much more epic can you get?

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Offline Flay Otters

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2018, 03:50:20 PM »
Silence!

Offline Greg Dragon

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2018, 06:32:04 PM »
Typically for me it's either Thundercat's "Drunk" album, or "A Love Supreme" by John Coltrane... with an adult beverage or two, I can ride that wave north of 2,000 words.

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2018, 06:39:57 PM »
There's also Brain.fm.
     

Offline IoneKeeling

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2018, 07:05:27 PM »
I can't - interferes too much. I like putting on rain sounds instead.

Offline Trina M. Lee

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2018, 07:35:55 PM »
I make a playlist for each book of songs that somehow relate to or inspire certain scenes. I don't listen to music every time I write but for the big action and emotional scenes I do. Really helps set the mood.

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Online Herefortheride

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2018, 07:39:50 PM »
There's also Brain.fm.

Yeah, Brain.fm is surprisingly good. Maybe I should resubscribe.
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Offline Jim Johnson

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2018, 08:14:55 PM »
Soundtracks and scores, all the time. Playlists for specific genres, so I'll have music on in the background while I brainstorm, outline, write, edit, proofread, format, and publish. Been listening to a lot of Star Trek music for my freelance work, and a lot of SF scores for my WIP novel series.

Offline Marty South

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2018, 03:07:30 AM »
I listen to music a lot while I'm writing, but not always. These sites are great if you don't want music, but the sound of silence is getting to you:

https://coffitivity.com
https://hipstersound.com

Offline D A Bale

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2018, 12:47:41 PM »
Movie scores from some of my favorite composers:  James Horner, Danny Elfman, James Newton Howard, Hans Zimmer, Steve Jablonsky, Harry Gregson-Williams, John Debney...just too many to count.

It just can't be anything with lyrics because then I'll sing along with it instead of allowing it to soak into my psyche.

Offline D. Zollicoffer

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2018, 01:28:16 PM »
Kpop or instrumental music. Can't listen to music with words I can understand :D

Offline williammeikle

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2018, 01:37:22 PM »
I regress to my youth, and things I know so well that they wash over me. Today, it was WISHBONE ASH 

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Online Eric S. Kim

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2018, 01:49:47 PM »
When it comes to Fantasy and Science Fiction, there are various rock songs that get me going. But at the same time, classical music also helps stimulate the senses. There are several pieces that I consider "staples" when writing, mostly because they seem appropriate for these two genres.

Hector Berlioz, Te Deum
Maurice Durufle, Requiem
Modest Mussorgsky, Pictures At An Exhibition
Richard Strauss, An Alpine Symphony
Ralph Vaughan Williams, A Pastoral Symphony
Richard Wagner, The Ring Cycle
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Offline Michael Alan Peck

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2018, 01:57:49 PM »
Ambient/drone exclusively. Stars of the Lid, Tim Hecker, Kyle Bobby Dunn, Brian Eno (only his ambient stuff for writing music), Eluvium, Hammock, William Basinski, and Loscil. If you want to give some of this type of thing a try without laying out any initial cash, I also highly recommend Moby's Long Ambients 1, which he's made available for free on his site: http://moby.com/la1/

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2018, 05:38:46 PM »
I don't recommend writing to John Williams, unless you want all your sentences to end with !!!

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Offline Stagewalker

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2018, 07:03:14 PM »
The sound of silence, all too rare in my daily life, is the best for my writing.


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Offline BethW

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2018, 06:55:55 AM »
I agree with the comments about instrumental music. Somehow words, even in other languages, distract me.

I much prefer instrumental and soundtrack music.

Spotify has quite a good selection of playlists that fit the bill.
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Offline The Bass Bagwhan

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2018, 07:11:41 AM »
Another vote here for movie soundtracks. I wrote what I consider one of my best books to the soundtrack of "Titanic" (James Horner). But I listen to music all day, every day. I'm a musician myself, and my preference is complex (not heavy) prog rock... Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree for example, although I AM unashameable the world's Number One, card-carrying Toto fan. But when I'm writing it needs to be familiar music. Anything new or interesting can drag my attention away.

But a big part of this is that if I didn't have music playing, I'd be imagining it. Trying to shut up the racket in my brain is hard. Writing and listening to music seems to shove most of the "noise" into a corner of my head somewhere.
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Offline Muyassar Sattarova

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2018, 07:39:15 AM »
I would love to listen to music while writing, but music itself is distracting for me as I can't concentrate while listening to it.

Offline DDEric

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2018, 07:52:21 AM »
Spotify's "Chill Lofi Study Beats" and "NO LYRICS - STUDY" playlists are great for that

Offline C. Michael Wells

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2018, 09:51:49 AM »
I enjoy listening to movie soundtracks, usually by Hans Zimmer (Man of Steel, Inception, Interstellar, Dark Knight) or John Williams (Episode III is my favorite soundtrack). The Fury Road soundtrack is also pretty good.

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2018, 10:09:13 AM »
I listen to instrumental pieces on a loop. Looped music helps me get into a flow state, similar to a Buddhist chant.

Current selection:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYelEUVQ50g" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYelEUVQ50g</a>


I require harder music for non-writing tasks (creating FB ads, auditing AMS ads, etc.). My current favorites follow:

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<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GB-3tC7vBnc" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GB-3tC7vBnc</a>


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Offline Guy Riessen

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2018, 11:33:25 AM »
Yeah, Brain.fm is surprisingly good. Maybe I should resubscribe.


Yup brain.fm. I picked up one of their lifetime membership deals for a song.

Seriously though, folks... Cinematic focus is what I usually listen to, though I vary that by my own mood. Any of their focus streams works for me--even up to a full two hour stint

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Offline D A Bale

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2018, 12:00:15 PM »
although I AM unashameable the world's Number One, card-carrying Toto fan.

I could probably give you a run for your money on this one.

Offline ilamont

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2018, 12:36:59 PM »
Instrumental music only, as I've found music with words distracts me too much - I could say music in languages I don't speak, which used to work, but the more languages I've learned the more difficult that is. I wrote most of Salem's Witches while listening to celtic music, while most the first draft of my current project was written listening to Tchaikovsky.

Me too, with one exception: For some reason, late at night, I can listen to Tool's Lateralus or 10,000 days and it really helps me power through writing or research projects.

Otherwise, it's classical stations (Alexa, play WCRB or Classical Vermont or Classical Wyoming) or some playlists I have featuring classical, ambient, or Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Offline Jessie G. Talbot

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2018, 02:15:45 PM »
I love public TV and classical music. No commercials! They knock me out of my flow.

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Offline C.Cross

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #43 on: January 18, 2018, 02:55:30 PM »
This is a kind of embarrassing admission, but if you listen, you might just agree with me that Justin Bieber is the best music to write to.

Back in 2010, a guy slowed down JBieb's track U Smile by 800%, and the result is this epic, ambient 35 minute long piece of sound. I use it as my Pomodoro timer and have a stretch once it's up.

Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/mesiuepiescha/justin-bieber-u-smile-slowed-down-800

I tend to only listen to music while writing if I'm in a public place, usually when I'm writing at home everyone has gone to bed and it's nice and quiet.

Offline dgcasey

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2018, 04:36:21 PM »
I have a pretty large Youtube playlist of music that I've labelled Music For Writing. It ranges from soft instrumental to classical to epic war music, depending on what I'm looking to convey during the writing session. All the videos are hours long, some are even Live and go on for hours. I can write without music, but I seem to lose myself in the story if there is some background music playing. It's quite easy to write for hours under those circumstances.
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Offline dgcasey

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #45 on: January 18, 2018, 04:43:56 PM »
The sound of silence, all too rare in my daily life, is the best for my writing.

I can do that, but only during late night writing sessions. The back of my house faces a decently busy street and I can hear the traffic going by, especially during rush hours. So during the day, I use the music to drown out the sounds of the cars going by. And Honey Bunny still can't figure out why I want to buy a small piece of land, in the country, with a small 3/2 home, where there might be five cars go by each day. She likes the city. I could ditch the city in a heartbeat and never look back.
The Wrath - The Chronicles of Wyndweir Book #2: 95%

City of Time: 29%

The Sheriff of Monster Town: 25%
War is coming. They think he can be their leader. He's not so sure.
D Glenn Casey | My author\\\\\\\'s blog | My artist\\\\\\\'s blog

Offline nick74

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2018, 04:52:32 PM »
Lately, I've been Youtube'ing "Epic Instrumental" and selecting any one of the slew of great 3 and 4 hour long cinematic track collections that populate. Always refreshing and always surprising. Plus NO LYRICS!



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Offline Meglor The Terrible

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2018, 05:07:06 PM »
Most often, I can't concentrate with noise in the background. If anything, I'll occasionally put on an ambient station on Google Music - the kind of stuff you hear in hotel lobbies.
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Offline C. Rysalis

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2018, 06:23:10 PM »
I can't write without music that fits the mood of the scene. So I usually search for long (hour +) youtube playlists with the style of music I need, and leave them running until I'm done for the day. Here's one (though I usually prefer playlists without video ads): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DbtPqt3Dnk

Epic music / dark epic is my standard go-to music genre, but I occasionally switch to vocal trance. Some of my characters have soundtracks of their own.

Radiant: Angel by R. Armando Morabito - the first track in the playlist above
Dancer & DJ: Fireflies by Lange & Cate Kanell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVhrQJkgPwA

& others I can't remember without consulting my lists. It's safe to say I've listened to thousands of hours worth of music on youtube.

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Online kw3000

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #49 on: January 18, 2018, 08:29:57 PM »
Radiohead.

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Offline LilyBLily

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #50 on: January 18, 2018, 08:36:41 PM »
Complete operas in foreign languages. Doesn't matter if I know the language (sort of) or the story, as long as it's not atonal music or Mozart. His harpsichord stuff makes me twitchy. 

Offline Sandy Raven

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #51 on: January 28, 2018, 10:14:36 PM »


Yup brain.fm. I picked up one of their lifetime membership deals for a song.

Seriously though, folks... Cinematic focus is what I usually listen to, though I vary that by my own mood. Any of their focus streams works for me--even up to a full two hour stint

Ditto the BrainFM Cinematic Focus! I almost double my word count with it, and I've measured. When I'm in a serious time crunch or deadline I'm listening to BrainFM.
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Offline Doglover

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #52 on: January 29, 2018, 12:49:39 AM »
I usually have the telly on.  :o


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Offline emmapearce

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Re: Music While Writing
« Reply #53 on: January 29, 2018, 06:28:07 AM »
I listen to movie soundtracks mostly. When I want to get into a 'JUST WRITE IT' mood, I go for Dunkirk OST. Gets me super pumped!