sound or silence for writing

I’m giving myself a pass on yesterday since it was our second day without power. Thankfully, some hardworking people got it back on for us yesterday evening so I didn’t have to stash pitbulls under the blankets to warm up [again]. Still no internet, but I’m just grateful to have heating, refrigeration and cell phone charging. Not going to penalize myself for windstorm aftermaths, so today is now Day 4 of the writing challenge. *waves hands and it becomes real*

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Day 4 ~ Do you prefer silence, music or other sounds when you write? Does your preference change depending upon what you’re writing?[/perfectpullquote]

In general, I like to write in silence. I tend to find noise of any kind distracting. When working, when sleeping, when writing… my mind gets too easily sidetracked. However, sometimes I’ll use that to my advantage. If I’m trying to understand how a character would react or imagine a particular scene, I might put on music that evokes the emotional or adrenaline-filled response I want. Then the pictures, normally distracting, start flying through my head.

While I don’t create entire playlists for a particular character, I might jot down a song or two in my notes that will remind me how this person feels. I have a playlist I’ve titled Soundtrack to a Shinobi Life that helps me imagine action- or drama-packed scenes.

I don’t usually do background noise for the sake of background noise. I’m more likely to use it if I need to cover up some other noise that’s distracting me. At work I might listen to music because it’s less distracting than hearing voices. At night I might put on ocean waves to block out noisy neighbors. No birds or crickets, though. I cannot take nature tracks with chirping, warbling things.

What about you? Do you write with music on? Do you prefer background noise to silence?