Everyone is different as a writer. We all have varying voices and styles. Even our environments are different when we write. My environment is usually downstairs at my desk. For some people, it’s at their dining room table. For others, it’s in a special room in their house. Others have to leave their premises and go some place else in order to write. We do whatever we need to do in order to exorcize these ideas and stories that continue to grow like weeds in the mind. In order to help that process along, many of us listen to our particular writing music.
A few years ago, I would post a song of the week on my Facebook page from my personal playlist I listen to when I write. However, every time I did, I would get a copyright alert for sharing the link which was just odd to me. I’m sharing a link, not disseminating the information as if it’s my own. That, coupled with the fact I couldn’t keep up with the schedule I had put together, made me cease and desist.
Now here we are in 2021. Instead of sharing something every week, I thought maybe it might be more beneficial to write a post about the different kinds of music I listen to when I write and read and let you use what I use if you so desire. The goal here is that you will potentially find something you can use as well, whether you write, read, or both.
Today, I’d like to share with you the three different kinds of writing music I listen to and a special fourth category exclusively for my reading (so far. That may change). The goal here is that if you’re a writer or reader, you might discover some new sources of music.
Understand that none of these styles have any words. I never listen to music with words when I work or read. It’s a distraction. I recommend you don’t listen to vocal music so it does not divide your attention unless you can do that kind of thing and just block it out. However, if you have the block it out, you may as well get rid of it altogether.
When I first started looking for music I could write to, I knew for a fact one of them would be classical. I happen to be a very big Mozart fan and it didn’t take me long to find something on YouTube where I could download several different classical mixes. Some are piano mixes, some are orchestral, sonatas, and I have a very special one of classical guitar.
I have about 20 hours of classical. I have enough variety that I never grow tired of the mixes. Seeing that it takes me about 2 1/2 hours to get in a full 5000 words a day (give or take), I’m only going through about one and a half mixes per session. Since I’m not really listening to the music but it’s there to add ambience to the scenes playing out in my head as I write, I can play the same mixes over and over and not get ear fatigue.
Go ahead and check out Haldion’s YouTube channel if you like long classical mixes.
It was maybe four years ago when I began listening heavily to chillstep. It’s now my go to as far as writing music goes. Just like genres of novels, music has several sub genres. Chillstep is a sub-genre of a style of music called dubstep. It’s influenced by many forms of electronic music like ambient, drum and bass, and garage. If you’re not familiar with any of those, I suggest doing a Google search for it. However, when it comes specifically to chillstep, just scroll down a little and there will be a link for you to get a taste of what it is.
At the moment, I am using a music app called Music Bee. I made several playlists of the different kinds of music. Chillstep is one where I have about twenty hours’ worth of music. There are some mixes I like more than others, but the majority of chillstep music I have comes from one particular individual on YouTube — Mixhound. I’ve downloaded several of his mixes and listen to them regularly.
Check out Mahound’s YouTube channel where he always has a livestream playing.
The third one which I don’t listen to as often, I heard about on a Self-Publishing Show (formerly Self-Publishing Formula) episode years ago. This is binaural sounds. On that particular episode, they mentioned Brain FM as the place to go. I just went on YouTube and found my own.
The idea with binaural sounds is it’s supposed to help stimulate your brain with specific frequencies of sound which play as you do whatever it is you’re doing. I only have about half as many hours of this as I do for the other two. This is truly background sound so it’s not really writing music. It is supposed to work in concert with your brain (or that’s what people claim). I couldn’t listen to this all the time because classical and chillstep inspire me much more when I’m writing. But sometimes when I want to take it down and just think through things more, I go to my binaural beats playlist.
Recently, I downloaded an app on my phone called Sleep Sounds. It is a player of ambient sounds, most of them being tied to nature like waterfall, fire, and creek. You do have other sounds like air travel, train journey, and café. Again, this is not really writing music but more writing atmosphere audio, if there is such a thing.
I wanted something different to listen to that was on my phone and not my computer. At night is when I wind down and grab whatever novel I’m reading for about an hour or so, It helps relax my mind and go to sleep. I guess in that way, I’m a bit like Niles Crane. Wait… you’re not familiar with who Niles Crane is? Oh, man. Let me get you hip.
There was an old sitcom in the 1990s and early 2000s called Frasier (I have all 11 seasons). In one episode, Frazier’s brother Niles needed a place to stay, and Frasier said he could stay with him temporarily. It was the first time they had slept since they were kids since. Niles is a very picky individual and did all kinds of crazy stuff to prepare for bed, irritating Frazier to no end as he made all kinds of noise. One of the things he did was put on this cassette of nature sounds in order to fall asleep.
When you watch the episode, it’s funny. You think it’s ludicrous. However, I found that listening to nature does help me relax, especially when I’m reading. I haven’t tried it when I’m writing, but it’s great when I’m reading. My favorite is thunderstorms (a brotha loves him some thunderstorms).
One of the cool features of the program is you can mix it with different sounds that’s in the pallet. For example, under rain you have rain on umbrella, rain on window, thunder, light rain, heavy rain, and so on. You can then mix each one of those sounds with a different volume, creating the exact sound atmosphere you want. I love the app and it has made my nighttime reading much more enjoyable.
So, there you have it. The write music for me (also the read music). Let me know in the comments below if you like some of the music over at the different links I gave above.
Until next time, I’ll see you in the Tapestry!