Music and Mood

I am not a big fan of silence.  Those that know me well can attest to that–if it is too quiet, I will start chattering about anything and everything (consider yourself warned).  I don’t even sleep in silence–I fall asleep every night to the sounds of Friends on TV.  🙂

The same is true for my writing.  I need to have some sort of background noise, whether it is the television that hangs over my desk or some type of music.  While I can usually tune out the TV, music does one better…it invokes emotion.

Now, I have to admit–I can’t listen to that great new song I just found while I attempt to write.  I can only listen to something tried and true–something I know so well, that it won’t distract me, even if I decide to sing along.  Jimmy Buffett classics fall into this category.  Same with Billy Joel.

When that fails, I turn to classical music–no words, no distractions. 🙂

I am a bit of a playlist addict, making happy playlists, and sad playlists; angry playlists, and playful playlists.  I do this with regular music and classical, although I rarely mix the two.  Then, when I am writing a happy scene, I grab a happy playlist; a sad scene gets a sad playlist.  I read years ago that it makes the transition between scenes and chapters a lot easier, although I always wondered how much of an impact it really has.

Lately, I have been planning my NaNoWriMo novel for next month.  For this, I have been playing a variety of classical music in the background–everything I have, all moods lumped into one.  It has worked well, and I am a whole lot further along than I planned to be at this point.  🙂

Still, through all of this, I have been craving Christmas music.  I mentioned on Tuesday that, in my opinion, it is never too early to plan for Christmas.  I am well into this year’s shopping already.  Still, I do try to wait until November 1 to break out the Christmas music (my favorite NaNo music).

Usually, a week or so before, I start itching for holiday music–my favorite part of the season.  For some reason, this year, I have been tempted to turn it on for weeks already (although I am still resisting). I couldn’t figure out why.

Earlier this week, it hit me.  I was looking through iTunes, and realized that one of the two  Nutcracker Suite CDs I have (which I always associate with Christmas) is classified as Classical in iTunes rather than Holiday, which means I have been listening to it for weeks.

And craving Christmas music for weeks.

Hmmm… maybe the whole idea of music setting the mood really does work! 😉

What about you? Do you listen to music while you work? Do you ever use music to set a particular mood? What is your favorite Background music? Favorite Christmas carol? I’d love to know!! 🙂

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Susi Borath finds time to write between freelance marketing jobs, minor league baseball games, creating new cookie recipes, and juggling more laundry than any two people should be able to produce. You can find more about her at or follow @susiborath on Twitter.

3 thoughts on “Music and Mood

  1. I have to have music while I write. If I’m writing when the kids are up, it’s usually to drown out the cartoons in the background. But, even before they’re awake, if it’s too quiet, I can’t focus. I mostly listen to music with lyrics, although for my current WiP, my playlist includes music from soundtracks, so there is some instrumental.


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