Writing To The Beat

Steve Silberman surveyed writers about the music they write to. David Wolman's playlist doesn't include Mozart:

A writer friend of mine–a real talent–once told me he only listens to classical music when he’s writing. Songs with lyrics tend to interfere with his inner voice. I remember thinking: Damn, that’s a real literary guy kind of answer. I want that answer.

But as my neighbors can attest, that is not my answer. I need to get pumped up to write, which means I listen to some decidedly un-relaxing tunes, often the same ones over and over again. And who knows? Maybe loud music helps my writing because the prose has to compete. Without tempo and sharp diction, the words will be overwhelmed. It’s as if the music provides both a challenge and a warning: DO NOT BE BORING.