I know many writers that require dead silence when writing. The slightest noise becomes an immediate distraction. They'd rather sweat in heat and humidity instead of listening to the hum of an air conditioner; or write in a vacuum to prevent the rattle of basement pipes from breaking a train of thought; or lock themselves in the attic if it will muffle the laughter of children playing outside from reaching their ears ...
And, I know other writers who will allow classical music -- as if trapped in an elevator -- to softly spill from tiny stereo speakers, a stereo kept in some other room, so that the sound just barely reaches the ears ... but is there. Still present. Ever so soothing.
Then, well, then there is me.
I can't write at home. Or rarely. Writing at home, regularly, is a distraction. The fridge is too close. The TV--right there. The bed--and the thought of a quick nap--too tempting.
No. When I write, it's in a public place. A loud place. A crowded place.
I saw an episode of Family Guy once. And in one of the (endless) flashbacks, it showed two guys in a Starbucks -- laptops open. One guy says, "Everyone look at me. I'm writing. I'm a writer..." And the other guy, says something along the lines of, "I need to let everyone see I'm writing...."
Yeah. I laughed. It was funny. I saw me in them. I do not write in public to "show off". I write in public because it inspires. I am a people watcher. A people studier. And as much as I enjoy listening to snipits of conversations as they take place around me ... I write best when I am listening to music.
There are really only two places where you can find me writing. At the Starbucks in Barnes & Noble in Greece Ridge Mall, or at Cafe Amenity on Ridge Road. I buy my coffee--what's that? Oh--yes, I like to buy a ... don't laugh ... iced vanila-flavored coffee with cream and heavy sugar. Heavy sugar. When you think enough sugar has been added. Add a ton more ...
Anyway, I sit with my coffee, turn on the laptop and --here's the important part-- pull out my Ipod and earbuds. While the computer boots up, I get the music started. When I write, I write with the music loud. My feet tap. My knees bounce. I sometimes sing along (tragic as that may be for those around me).
What happens is, the style of song I am listening to inspires the tempo and tone of my writing. Something fast, and hard has me typing fast and furious. The thoughts pouring from my brain quicker than my fingers can transpose them onto the LED screen. When a softer, slower song comes on, my brain down-shifts. My words are more articulate and timed, more careful and exact.
If my Ipod battery dies -- I'm done writing for the day. And if the battery was fully charged when I walked in -- and it still died, well then I must have had one heck of a productive day.
The art of writing is about your classic Three-Ds. Drive. Dedication. Devotion. Whether you write in the morning, at night, with music or in complete solitude -- I guess every writer needs to find what works best for them. The important thing is, if you have a story to tell, tell it. Without music, who knows, maybe I'd never have become a published author ...
What can you find on my Ipod?
Jars of Clay
3 Doors Down
Goo Goo Dolls
Author of, The Molech Prophecy