Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Music to write by.

I have to have music on all day. I awaken to the radio playing classical music, switch over to CBC Radio One for the local morning show until I start working, and then it's back to music. Fortunately, CBC Radio Two obliges me with 5 1/2 hours more of classical music. Then I usually switch to CDs.

However, when I'm deep into writing, I like something more in keeping with what's happening in my mind. I went through a Baroque period, which lasted quite a long time actually. Now days, since my mysteries are set in Alabama, I've made another switch.

I started by playing, over and over, the soundtrack from The Big Easy. Wrong state but it got me thinking southern, especially on cold northern winter days. I also found Quincy Jones to be a big help.

With this second book, I'm more into Aaron Copland. Today, I have Appalachian Spring in the background and then I'll move on to Rodeo.

Music moves me. It always has. It deeply affects my mood and is great for elevating it when I'm feeling down, consoling me in time of pain or grief, calming me before bedtime after a hyper evening, as well as hugging me in a cherished memory.

It can also be inspiring. I had no idea earlier this morning what I'd write for this blog, until Copland came on. Aha! A blog about music and its many powers. As such, it's one of the many elements in my writing. Along with the research, the plot, the characters, the setting, the dialogue...there's music.

Is it a part of your writing or do you prefer silence?

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
Book Club Mysteries coming April 2012, from Berkley Prime Crime
Murder By the Book


  1. Intriguing post, Linda! I need silence when I write or read. I guess I am too easily distracted. But I love music when not writing and get a real energy boost from it. Plus I often get my best ideas during concerts. I try not to jump up and shout Eureka!

  2. I find silence distracting. My mind wanders all too easily and I seem to need the structure of music to focus properly. So glad you're able to restrain yourself at concerts!

  3. I too find it distracting although I love music and my taste runs from classical particularly Mozart and Handel through to country. I keep hoping Shania Twain will release another album as I've driven many miles listening to her. It would be an interesting poll to know who listens while working and who doesn't.