Writing: Background Info (Quite Literally)

Every writer writes in a different way, especially when it comes to their surroundings while they write. Some authors insist on writing in the same place and time every day, others prefer to people watch as they write, while others just need a place to sit.

I’m the last type. I don’t have the luxury of being in the same house consistently enough to have a Writing Spot. And with school, homework, and friend and family obligations, I can’t keep to a consistent writing schedule. I’m happy to fit in a few paragraphs on weekdays after homework, and I do most of my long writing sessions on the weekends. And writing in public is really not my thing, so people watching is out–it distracts me. Give me a place to sit and my laptop–I’m good.

Some authors have to write in complete silence, others to the bustle of the masses, others to music. A lot of writers prefer music without lyrics; I even found a guy who listens to movie scores to get the right environment.

I listen to music, and I like lyrics. I usually listen to sadder, mellower songs when I write, no matter what type of scene I’m writing. I listen to music extremely quietly (much to the annoyance of the people around me, who are trying to listen) and I can’t put in earbuds (it’s too distracting).

Some of my favorite artists to write to are Taylor Swift, OneRepublic (especially their new album, Native), Gavin Degraw, A Fine Frenzy, and Christina Perri.

Here’s a preview of one of my current writing playlists (always on shuffle):

Counting Stars by OneRepublic

Preacher by OneRepublic

The Lonely by Christina Perri

Tragedy by Christina Perri

Bluebird by Christina Perri

Ashes and Wine by A Fine Frenzy

Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy

Sad by Maroon 5

Crazy by Gnarls Barkley

If I Die Young by The Band Perry

Just a Dream by Carrie Underwood

Not Over You by Gavin Degraw

Soldier by Gavin Degraw

Skyfall by Adele

White Houses Vanessa Carlton

Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine

All of Me by John Legend

Magic by Coldplay

This is What Makes Us Girls by Lana Del Ray

Hurricane by MS MR

If This Was a Movie by Taylor Swift

Red by Taylor Swift

Treacherous by Taylor Swift

Today Was a Fairytale by Taylor Swift

Long Live by Taylor Swift

(note: pretty much every Taylor Swift song could be on this playlist…I just didn’t want to bore you…the list is already REALLY long)

While it may appear that I only listen to depressing music–that’s only when I’m writing. I listen to lots of energetic, uplifting music when I’m doing homework and wasting time on the internet (usually through Pandora). But most of that music is “too loud” and makes me not be able to focus on my thoughts. The songs listed above are quiet enough–and I know them well enough–that I can tune out the lyrics and just absorb the emotion of the songs, which then translates into whatever scene I’m writing.

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