Oh, so this is the new Google look you were all bitching about last week. I guess I should log into gmail or Blogger more often.

Yes. More often than NEVER.

Here’s my writing question today: Do you listen to music while you write?

I’ve heard lots of people talk about how listening to songs with lyrics stifle the words on the screen. Or how the words in the lyrics get into the words they’re writing.

My friend Mary Anne—who good-naturedly took ribbing in my last post—used to write listening to this strange, Celtic, Lord of the Rings music. Actually, it might have literally been Lord of the Rings music for all I know. It was…not my style.

But whatever works, right? What works for me, often, is finding one album or one song that lures me into the world I’m creating.

Long ago when I was doing a journalism thesis, it was OK Computer by Radiohead. Very hypnotic. I wrote my entire thesis to that one CD.

When I was writing my MFA thesis, I had a more varied play list. Three more varied playlists, actually, which I created myself in iTunes. One was “Sad Songs.” David Gray and Jeff Buckley were heavily featured.

I don’t remember what I used to write my first (metaphorically in the drawer) novel. I wrote it over such a long time, off and on. But The Black Hour—I’ll probably never be able to forget what I used, because not only did this single song lull me into the place I needed to be to finish the book, the title of the song figured in the content of the story.


I don’t really think I know what the song is actually about, but to me, it will always be about a dark night on Lake Michigan.

Do you write to music? What song helped you get through a project?

By Published On: May 3, 2012Categories: Black Hour, Writing, Writing life