Music and Writing – do they Mix?

This post is in response to the NaBloPoMoUK challenge: a blog post a day throughout November.  I’m using the prompts at www.blogher.com.

Can you listen to music and write?  What song did you hear today?

Have you ever caught one of those earworms that you can’t ignore, perhaps a song or tune that creeps into your head and won’t leave you alone?  Usually for me it’s one of the songs my little chap has been singing or a tune from one of his toys and I often find myself humming something in the supermarket queue or at the petrol station.  Fortunately for me, this is the South East, so I don’t get too many odd looks.  But today, for some reason, I have “All Right Now” by Free running through my head and I have no idea why.  Maybe it’s some positive self-talk after a difficult few days, my subconscious trying to reassure me.  I like this theory, but the earworm is interfering with my writing.

One of the reasons I’m such an infrequent blogger is because I need complete peace in order to write anything and then total silence in which to edit it before posting.  Music, or in fact almost any other noise, would be a distraction and so, in a house with an active four year old, my windows of opportunity for writing are quite limited.   I like to write sitting at the computer, facing towards the window so I can glance outside from time to time.  There is always a tall cup of proper coffee on the table and my notes and assorted pens.  There is also the comforting whirr of the computer, but no music.

The fact that music does not help me write is strange, because I find music very inspiring.  We’ve all got a soundtrack running through our heads whether or not we’re conscious of it, and my own internal tunes can help lift and power me through the day, or comfort and reassure me in difficult times.  Sometimes I catch myself quietly singing a song which perfectly reflects my mood at the time.  Is it just me, or do other people experience this too?

Music has always been a big part of my life.  I studied it when I was a child and, when I’m not writing, I’ve always got some music on.  I like to sing in the car or to the radio when I’m cooking dinner.  Before husband and family, when mine was the only opinion that mattered in domestic arrangements, I used to put the radio on as soon as I woke up (these days its breakfast news), and I would listen to it for most of the day.  I’ve never been interested in the television, so instead of watching the soaps or reality programmes I’d have some music on instead.  We have an eclectic collection and so usually have something to suit any mood or activity: apart from writing that is.

I find that I don’t miss music; the house is usually full of many other noises, so the quiet times are special as there are so few of those moments.  Listening to music has been replaced by writing as my main interest for the time being and, for me, the two don’t mix.

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