Background Noise

I’ve never been one of those writers with books that have soundtracks. I’ve always loved the idea of it, but always thought how do people concentrate? Surely they have to drown out the words out loud so they can hear the voices in their head?

Note: Yes, I hear voices, and a writer is the only socially acceptable person to admit this.

Recently though I’ve started to write downstairs. Maybe it’s to be with the others in the household, maybe it’s because the living room is the warmest place to be, I don’t know. But I set my laptop and I up at the table, supportive cushion at my back because, yes, it has come to that as I get older, a steaming cup of tea by my side.

And then grit my teeth as the strains of the TV interrupt the sweeping romance or hi-lari-ous comedic scenes I’m attempting.

The solution: a pair of amazingly comfortable headphones and a Spotify soundtrack.

Next problem? I found myself singing along to Ed Sheeran or Ariana Grande instead of paying attention to my characters. An hour passes and I find I wrote maybe twenty words, or worse one of my characters spontaneously burst into Galway Girl. Clearly the thing was to not listen to songs I knew.

Classics don’t work for me. Big band stuff worked for a while until I started to tap my feet and nod my head and shift my booty in my seat to the beat.

And then I typed in Relaxing Songs on Spotify and lo and behold, there was a playlist. Some songs I know, but most I don’t and their tempo is just enough so that they don’t have me snoozing or bopping along (most of the time). It’s perfect background, and for the odd romantic moment, there’s the odd romantic melody.

Success! Now I have nothing to blame any writer’s block on.

Hang on. Why was this a good idea again?

What do you guys think? Do you like writing or reading to music?