Do you listen to music while you write?

A lot of people like to have something on in the background, and some even create a special compilation, a kind of audio moodboard for whatever they’re writing – Russell T., in his Writer’s Tale, explains how he’ll crank up the volume on a single track and listen to it again and again as he writes.

Me, I can’t work with music during the day. It jars my concentration. It’s not that I must have silence because I can work quite happily in a crowded cafe, although the attention can wander… The other day I became mesmerised by a woman’s phone conversation in which she explained, in a cracked voice, that she was having a coffee before going to a flat to “remove the body.”

During the day I can’t listen to music, mostly because I can’t enjoy the music and enjoy writing at the same time. My poor mind, feeble at the best of times, gets a bit flustered.

But in the dead of night , when a deep silence permeates the house, I need some background. So I’ll put on something soothing: a bit of mindless Classic FM, perhaps, or a gently lyrical album, like  Bon Iver’s stunning For Emma, Forever Ago.

What about you?