Like most writers, I spend the majority of my time during the weekdays here- in front of the computer. I check emails, chat with friends, blog and read other blogs and I work on my novels and revisions with all those notebooks and pads of paper scattered around me- sometimes with music as the backdrop and sometimes the comforting silence is my companion. Depends on what I'm dealing with at the moment.
Weekends are a bit harder because I don't have a writer's cave I can disappear into. I'm planted in the living room and weekends or days off from school/work for the kids or hubby tend to become a major distraction. Hubby usually has to have to television on or the kids are playing or needing something at all times. It's then that I slam the headphones on and lose myself in music that fits what I'm working on. It varies.
Sometimes I make a playlist of really romantic soft slow songs and other times I just need that pounding rhythm rocking it out, blurring the lines around me so that I'm sucked into the story.
During the writing process, I generally use songs that fit the moment, the momentum and the emotion my characters are going through. There are scenes that need melody, but not lyrics and that's when I turn to one trusted musician-Jim Brickman. Any of his piano instrumentals can give me the boost I need without so much as a word (though I still can include the one he did with Martina McBride- My Valentine.)
I have seen times where music cannot possibly help me and so I turn it all off. No music, just sweet comforting silence. Well, almost silence- the computer humming, the ceiling fan's whirring, the washer or dryer in the background.
My musical tastes and needs vary from novel to novel. During the writing of my paranormal historical, I chose songs that haunted me, slow, heartbreaking songs that filled me with melancholy and heartache in order to achieve the mood I needed to get the emotions onto the page. A few songs in particular from when I wrote that one are from The Ben Taylor Band's Famous Among the Barns album. Island, No More Running Away, Rain, and Tonight.
During my contemporary about the country singer- yes- I absolutely relied on country music to do it for me. Brooks and Dunn, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Clint Black. I used Garth Brooks (as Chris Gaines) with songs like That's the Way I Remember It, Lost in You, and Driftin' Away. This one is not linked because the CD was discontinued by the manufacturer. Maybe it wasn't his brightest, shiniest moment when he went a little split personality- but I actually really liked the CD and the songs I mentioned in particular.
Most of what I use are songs from contemporary artists. The list could go on and on but a few of my all time favorites to use while writing are-
98º-Was It Something I Didn't Say, Take My Breath Away, I Wasn't Over You, Don't Stop The Love
Maroon 5- She Will Be Loved, Must Get Out, Sunday Morning, Sweetest Goodbye, Little of Your Time, Won't Go Home Without You, Nothing Lasts Forever, Goodnight Goodnight, Not Falling Apart, Better That We Break, Back At Your Door (sometimes their entire albums)
Alicia Keys- No One, Like You'll Never See Me Again, Fallin'
Whitney Houston- Nobody Loves Me Like You Do
Meat Loaf- If This Is The Last Kiss (Let's Make It Last All Night)
Robin Thicke- Flowers In Bloom, Cherry Blue Skies, Complicated, Lost Without U, Sidestep, Magic, The Sweetest Love, Cry No More
Jewel- Stronger Woman, I Do, Thump Thump, Loved By You (Cowboy Waltz), Near You Always, Morning Song, You Were Meant For Me
There are plenty more, but I'll save any other references to music choices for another blog, but I will leave on this note. One of the ones I have used the most and actually listened to over and over again is Sara Bareilles' Little Voice.
The link takes you to the newer version, which has a 2nd CD I didn't get when I originally got it.
Of few of my absolute favorites off there- One Sweet Love, Gravity, Love Song, and Between the Lines- Fairytale is fun, but in all honesty, it's an absolutely great CD all around.
Do you listen to music when you write? If you do, what are some of yours? Are there any songs you find yourself listening to repeatedly, regardless of which manuscript you're working on?