So, here’s a thing: I don’t think I’d ever be able to put pen to paper without some form of noise going. Whether it’s the TV playing back all of the shows I missed years ago (I never seem to catch them at normal human times) or my iPod blaring out something loud and screamy, I need something going on. A silent room is like writers’ poison to me.
Usually, it’s music that I have going, and more often than not, it’s late-70s and early-80s hardcore punk rock. It’s kind of funny, as I was born in 1978 and therefore missed all of it the first time around — the first time I listened to any new music was 1991, the Guns ‘n’ Roses Use Your Illusion record. Before that, I just listened to whatever my parents had on in the car, more often than not bland, nonthreatening oldies from the 50s and 60s.
The problem here is that when I listen to something, I always want to put that music into whatever it is I’m writing, just like filmmakers do with their soundtracks. I want to use the music as a shorthand to set the scene, to highlight the emotional state of the characters. When you’re writing Sci-Fi, though, this is hard to do (though I still managed to put some punk-rock influences into 47 Echo, because I’m sneaky like that).
So, am I the only one with this particular handicap on my writing? If not, what do you watch/listen to while you write? How does it influence the work as a whole?