Some nights, silence is the best music as words become sentences and paragraphs fill the page. Some nights the womanly voices of Adele or Bonnie Raitt lure creativity onto a blank page then another and another. Or maybe lost in the beat of Justin Timberlake or Dave Matthews or old Rolling Stones, a new chapter rolls to completion.
There was a time music was a required part of my writing routine. I had to be in a private place where I could listen to a specific CD without earphones. Unlike time at the gym when music improved my activity level, bringing the sound right into my head didn’t inspire. My feet might be tapping, but most likely my fingers weren’t doing the same on the keyboard.
Through a difficult revision of the last book of the Ashwood trilogy, George Winston was comforting. The piano reminded me that I needed to move toward a deadline even if winter sun on snow-covered trees could be stared at for hours. Indie Crystals in the Deep was strangely the right backdrop for new work on a novel centering on conversations between an adult daughter and her father.
Writers tend to have strong feelings about writing in their version of silence, in the chatter of coffee shops, with public radio’s continuous soft voices, or accompanied by music. The challenge for any of us is truly writing through the many sounds of the world.