I'm always fascinated by the different habits writers have. I think it has to do with the fact that we all have different ways to reach the same goal--tell a story. Some writers need their writing space to be neat and tidy, others need it to be cluttered. Some write out of sequence, others have to write chronologically within the story. Some of us have to have background noise when we write, others need complete silence.
I fall into the background noise camp. Granted, most of the time the background noise is whatever random thing I can find on TV. I've been known to write while watching Grey's Anatomy, NCIS reruns, and various Food Network shows. Sometimes during NaNoWriMo, I'll write while watching old Gilmore Girls episodes, because they talk so fast and so much it somehow gets me to write the run-on sentences I need to write that many words in 30 days.
And when there's not something that interests me on TV, or if I need to write a particularly difficult scene, I listen to my novel's playlist.
I first got introduced to the concept of making playlists to write to only a couple of years ago, and I've gotten hooked. First of all, it's a great way for me to procrastinate. When I hit that rut that I can't get through, I have a tendency to use making a playlist for said rut as an excuse to not deal with it for a short bit of time while I think it over. But, more than that, playlists are a great way for me to get into the emotional heart of the story. I don't usually make separate playlists for different characters--typically, I only have one playlist for the whole novel. However, there was one time when writing the end of the novel I'm currently revising that I needed a separate playlist just for those scenes. They were particularly emotional and I was having trouble getting into that mindset. So I made a playlist just for those scenes and it worked wonders.
I know many people can't have songs with lyrics in their playlists, but I'm quite the opposite on that one. Most of my playlists consist of songs with lyrics. Musicals, movie soundtracks, random things I hear on the radio or that people recommend...all of these types of music end up on my novel playlists. My iTunes library is pretty eclectic anyway, because I like most everything, and I find this is incredibly helpful when it comes to putting together a playlist for whatever I'm writing--a novel, a scene, a character.
To give you an idea of what kinds of things end up on my playlists, here's a short list of songs that are on the playlist of the novel that I'm currently revising to get ready to send out:
1. We're Not Gonna Take It--Twisted Sister
2. Our Lives--The Calling
3. A Little Hope--composed by Scott Alan, performed by Shoshana Bean
4. O Children--Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
5. The Call--Regina Spektor
6. I Stand--Idina Menzel
7. Sing--My Chemical Romance
8. Get It Right--Glee cast
9. Do You Hear the People Sing?--Les Miserable
10. American Elegy--composed by Frank Ticheli
11. Totally F***ed--Spring Awakening
12. 21 Guns--Green Day
13. Hope--Idina Menzel
14. The Human Heart--Stephanie J. Block
15. A Thousand Beautiful Things/A Beautiful Day--Julia Murney
Plus, a good half of my playlist for this novel consists of clips from a podcast called Smart Mouths, much like the clip right here (warning, there is some language involved).
What kinds of things do you like listening to while you write? Do you make playlists? What songs are on yours?