I go back and forth on this: Listen to music while writing. Do not listen to music while writing.
There’s an entire genre of music that I would consider perfect for writing, but the truth is that, when I’m writing at home on the backporch, I’m usually not listening to anything but the wind in the tree.
But if I’m writing elsewhere, I sometimes need it. For instance: a cafe. I’m not so disciplined that I can write with annoying Dudes With Laptops talking across Starbucks to one another. Or with Mommies Needing a Break letting their moppets run around the cafe. If it were just cafe noise, I could do it. But cafe noise seems to mean something different to everyone. To some, apparently, chaos is totally acceptable.
Headphones do have a way of focusing my attention on the blank page, though. Sometimes I use them just to force myself to get to it.
Do you listen to music while you write? Are there certain artists you can always turn to? Do you have a writing music playlist? What’s it called? Mine is called Writer’s Blok. I also turn quite a bit to the soundtracks to Once and Amelie. Soundtracks don’t always do it, though. A writer I know who will remain completely anonymous unless she wants to out herself listens to Celtic music and tracks from sci-fi/fantasy movie soundtracks. So it’s Lord of the Dance and Lord of the Rings over there all the time.
That’s when headphones come in rather handy.