Working soundtrack for a novel in progress

Here’s a true fact: I can’t listen to anything while I’m working. I’ve certainly never understood (though sometimes I’ve envied) people who can work and, say, watch TV at the same time or carry on a conversation. If I tried to do that, both the conversation and whatever I was writing would come out as incoherent drivel.

Which is not to say that my writing doesn’t sometimes come out like that regardless. Anyway….

I can’t even listen to music and work at the same time, which is often a disappointment to me. I mean, who doesn’t love to listen to music? (Do not raise your hand; I will think differently of you after that.) If I’m writing and you see me with headphones on, most likely it’s to block out background noise.

A word about background noise: in paradox to all this, I can write without difficulty in public spaces. All the voices and noises blend together into a continuous fuzz, which is actually kind of lulling. There are exceptions, like when you sit in a cafe next to someone who has that voice. You know the one; it hits just the right volume and tone that it’s impossible to ignore. And why aren’t they ever talking about anything interesting? I mean, if I have to hear your conversation, please talk about some fantastic book you read or some fantastic lay you took home, not about your car or your honors student child.

Where was I? Oh yeah, music.

Even if I can’t listen to it while I’m working, I still associate music with what I’m writing. For the last book (you’ve got a copy, right?) I put together a playlist that I listened to constantly. In a few cases, I kept adding songs to it even after the book was done. These were the things I listened to when I wasn’t working on the book, and they kept my mind always working on it in some little way.

Now that I’m working on book #2, Amazons (first draft is almost done—can I get an amen? Anyone?), naturally I’ve got a playlist of things that I listen to when I’m running, at the gym, paying bills, cooking dinner. So it may not look like I’m writing when I’m not writing, but I’m kind of writing. (That makes sense, right? Well, as much as anything else I ever say.)

So, thanks to the miracle of Spotify, I now have an easy way to share the playlist (because let’s face it, I’m lazy). I don’t think all the songs are available in their public library, but if you want to give it a look or a listen, click here. And of course, I’d love to hear what you think the book might be about or its overall tone based on these songs.

One thought on “Working soundtrack for a novel in progress

  1. I really like the idea that when you are listening to your playlist, you are actually working, regardless of the task you happen to be performing at the time.
    I have an album that for some bizarre reason motivates me to write this manuscript, not the kind of thing I’d normally listen to, but whenever I hear a song on the radio from this album, I itch to get to my laptop!

Comments are closed.