Music To Quiet Your Noisy Writer’s Mind

Slow Jazz on Her Red Lips by iNeedChemicalX
Photo Credit: Slow Jazz on Her Red Lips by iNeedChemicalX

If music soothes the savage beast, then my mind must be a zoo.

Years ago when writing my first full-length fiction novel, I’d sit for hours pouring my heart and soul onto the page. Just about once every other minute a voice inside my head whispered, “You don’t know what you’re doing.” And that was true. But I was figuring it out, thank you very much.

What moved me through the internal noise of self-doubt – and the external noise of what we call “the world” – was carefully selected music. I never was without my headphones. A single CD looped: “Creations Vibrations,” two tracks of meditative Tibetan Singing Bowl vibrations by Kenny Mazursky. (Shameless disclosure: Kenny is my brother-in-law and he is awesome.)

This morning my head is noisy and so is the coffee shop where I work. It’s got me thinking again about sound and music and productivity and our delicate brains. And how music affects writing, and frankly any other work that requires a quiet and steady mind.

I came across Music2Work2, a company dedicated to sharing music that makes us more effective at work. Here’s what they have to say about the science behind Music2Work2:

“To complete his psychology degree, Andrew [co-founder] studied the effects of sound on human reaction times. The data showed that adding noise to the environment increased performance until it became too distracting and performance started to decline.

This is the idea behind music to work to. If we create music that is stimulating but not too distracting, you can create an auditory environment that is optimized for work.”

If you do a search for music to work to, you’ll find a wide selection of styles and genres to match different tastes. Next time you’re hitting a block or need extra focus, try integrating music. It may very well become a vital part of your work routine.