Generally I put music on when I write. I avoid music with lyrics almost always. I generally start with 1950s and 1960s jazz like Bill Evans or Cannonball Adderly. Sometimes the extreme virtuosity and speed of the solos in this kind of jazz can be distracting, so I turn to more ambient music like Brian Eno or The Ghost Orchid. I like instrumental music like The Six Parts Seven, Mogwai, or Explosions in the Sky when it comes time to revise and there’s more room for my mind to wander. There are times, though, when I’m trying to write and all my mind focuses on is the music. When that happens, it’s time for silence, at least until I get some momentum.
More thoughts on writing and music October 7, 2010