Music and Mood

I am not a big fan of silence.  Those that know me well can attest to that–if it is too quiet, I will start chattering about anything and everything (consider yourself warned).  I don’t even sleep in silence–I fall asleep every night to the sounds of Friends on TV.  🙂

The same is true for my writing.  I need to have some sort of background noise, whether it is the television that hangs over my desk or some type of music.  While I can usually tune out the TV, music does one better…it invokes emotion.

Now, I have to admit–I can’t listen to that great new song I just found while I attempt to write.  I can only listen to something tried and true–something I know so well, that it won’t distract me, even if I decide to sing along.  Jimmy Buffett classics fall into this category.  Same with Billy Joel.

When that fails, I turn to classical music–no words, no distractions. 🙂

I am a bit of a playlist addict, making happy playlists, and sad playlists; angry playlists, and playful playlists.  I do this with regular music and classical, although I rarely mix the two.  Then, when I am writing a happy scene, I grab a happy playlist; a sad scene gets a sad playlist.  I read years ago that it makes the transition between scenes and chapters a lot easier, although I always wondered how much of an impact it really has.

Lately, I have been planning my NaNoWriMo novel for next month.  For this, I have been playing a variety of classical music in the background–everything I have, all moods lumped into one.  It has worked well, and I am a whole lot further along than I planned to be at this point.  🙂

Still, through all of this, I have been craving Christmas music.  I mentioned on Tuesday that, in my opinion, it is never too early to plan for Christmas.  I am well into this year’s shopping already.  Still, I do try to wait until November 1 to break out the Christmas music (my favorite NaNo music).

Usually, a week or so before, I start itching for holiday music–my favorite part of the season.  For some reason, this year, I have been tempted to turn it on for weeks already (although I am still resisting). I couldn’t figure out why.

Earlier this week, it hit me.  I was looking through iTunes, and realized that one of the two  Nutcracker Suite CDs I have (which I always associate with Christmas) is classified as Classical in iTunes rather than Holiday, which means I have been listening to it for weeks.

And craving Christmas music for weeks.

Hmmm… maybe the whole idea of music setting the mood really does work! 😉

What about you? Do you listen to music while you work? Do you ever use music to set a particular mood? What is your favorite Background music? Favorite Christmas carol? I’d love to know!! 🙂

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Susi Borath finds time to write between minor league baseball games, creating new cookie recipes, trying out new Pinterest-inspired crafts, and juggling more laundry than any two people should be able to produce. You can find more about her at http://susiborath.com or follow @susiborath on Twitter.

3 thoughts on “Music and Mood

  1. I have to have music while I write. If I’m writing when the kids are up, it’s usually to drown out the cartoons in the background. But, even before they’re awake, if it’s too quiet, I can’t focus. I mostly listen to music with lyrics, although for my current WiP, my playlist includes music from soundtracks, so there is some instrumental.

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