Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuning In / Tuning Out

I keep reading posts about writing to music. Romancing the Blog, the Wicked Wenches, Robin Bielman, and on and on.

So, do I write with music? Well, it depends. I grew up with a big family in a small house. I'm one of 5 sisters, and there was no such thing as quiet. This was back in the early days of Walkmans (Walkmen?), which I never really owned. I think I had a knockoff at one point, but mostly I either locked myself in my room (as one of the 2 oldest, I got a teeny tiny room of my own), or just tuned out the chaos. I am still quite good at tuning out chaos when I need to be.

For a long time at work, I depended on having a radio or a stack of cd's and a pair of headphones to be able to concentrate. Cube farms are supposed to be good for collaboration, but they're horrible for getting work done when your neighbors are having a loud and interesting discussion. Lately, due to annoying rules in my current office, I"m back to silence at work--music silence, that is. My IPod isn't allowed in the door, and my work computers can't play CD's (and I"m too lazy and cheap to buy a separate CD player to bring in). So, I've been honing my "tune out the world" skills again.

I've been writing a lot at coffee shops and the library lately. Not that I've been writing a lot lately (I'm averaging about 3 hours a week), but rather that most of it is out of the house. There are too many distractions (mainly 3ft and under) at home. Which gets me back to the music question again. Starbucks doesn't limit my IPod usage, but now I'm out of the habit of working to music, and am finding myself distracted by the lyrics. I think that the stuff I listen to most often is the easiest to tune out, so anything newer (or anything of my husband's that I've ripped) pulls me out of my writing. The moral of the story? I guess I need a few playlists of stuff I can write to.

As for what I listen to, well, try not to laugh. I buy music in spurts, every couple of years. My Ipod is very new (a birthday present this March), and I have yet to buy a single song online. Everything I own is on CD (though my husband has a large archive of cassette tapes from high school and college). There is very little rhyme or reason to my taste in music. Much like my taste in books it varies by day, phase of the moon, and the price of eggs in China. About the only thing I don't own is country. Some of my favorites (and the ones I can actually work to):

Bon Jovi (old, old, old Slippery When Wet)
Guns N Roses
Josh Groban
A handful of Disney movie soudntracks (Lion King, Toy Story...currently searching for my copy of Mulan)
The Eagles
George Michael
I freely admit to having at least one Michael Jackson album ripped onto my ipod (I can appreciate his music even if the rest of his life seems a little...odd...)
There is more, including a strange variety of heavy metal, easy listening, pop, and soundtracks with a dusting of classical and instrumental :)


Anonymous said...

Great list! I've loved the Eagles forever! And Nickleback is growing on me. I love their song, I Wanna Be A Rock Star.

At least you've got songs on your IPod. I um, haven't even done that yet. I really need to get more organized on the music front.

Thanks for the mention!

Anonymous said...

Hey, you changed the look. I like it!

BriteLady said...

Thanks, Robin! I've been playing with layouts & the blogroll thing too (it will update the list from my lists...that's nifty!).