Writing Muse: Music versus Silence

Which helps you to focus on writing more, music or silence?

Does music help you to create a certain mood that you’re going for in a scene?

I used to be in the silence camp, but now I’m fully in the music camp.

When I began writing my first Work-In-Progress, I had to have complete silence because I found anything besides white noise to be too distracting. Then I read an article about a writer using ‘mood music’ to get in the right mindset for writing an emotionally specific scene… so I started doing the same, finding music to match the emotion of a scene I was writing and I found that it really helped. I slowly became a convert from silent writing to actually needing music in the background to motivate and inspire me.

I began experimenting with different kinds of music while I was writing general scenes and I found that ‘classical music’ of any sort, as long as it’s instrumental and not lyrical, was the perfect ‘white noise’ to have in the background when I write. Whenever I tried to use music with any type of lyrics, then I would get distracted by the words and sometimes want to sing along and not focus on the writing… so I still can’t use music that has lyrics, but I definitely use music now when I write.

I most often listen to relaxing, meditative music in the background while I’m writing, almost entering a dream-like state.

This is one of my favorites: 8 Hours Relaxing Delta Waves Music

But I also like to listen to Fantasy type of music when I’m writing action scenes:  5 Hours Epic Music Mix

Sometimes I’m just in the mood for classical: 6 Hours Best of Beethoven

As always, I’m curious to see what other writers are up to … do you listen to music or find it too distracting and prefer writing in silence?