I remember once reading an interview with Sophie Kinsella where she said she liked to play really loud, pounding music in the room where she was writing to block out the outside world. I couldn’t understand that at all. I would far rather have had the sound of traffic outside or people talking downstairs than music in the background.

When I was in high school we were told that listening to classical music would help us to study because the rhythm is in sync with our brainwaves (something like that, anyway) so I used to play Mozart while I was revising. It was so distracting that I had to turn the volume right down so that music was barely audible above the whir of the cassette. I’m not sure it did my brainwaves much good at all.

In the last few weeks, however, I have found that listening to music while writing helps me to keep on hammering the words out rather than stopping every other sentence to think about what’s coming next. I’m writing from multiple view points so maybe I ought to develop a playlist for each character to create the right atmosphere for their particular view point.

The only problem is that I am playing the music on my laptop with my earphones plugged in so that I don’t disturb my housemate. When there is a power cut, which happens quite frequently, though only for a minute at a time, my laptop beeps really loudly right in my ears. The first time it happened I got such a shock I nearly bit my tongue out. At least it keeps me on my toes.


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