Getting into the Zone
Music has a strong impact on us, emotionally and mentally. It’s a source of entertainment, a sweet distraction, and an excellent mood-setter. Over the years, there has been a lot of talk about how music affects productivity, but not many conclusive findings. According to one study, people who listened to music while at work were 6.3% more productive than the control group. In another, the effects of music were simply attributed to the positive mood change that it inspired.
For writers, finding a way to get into the “writing zone” is important. With blogging in particular, the opportunity to be distracted is so much more prevalent. You’re already online with Facebook, Twitter, and any other social networking site that strikes your fancy just a click away. In fact, quite a lot can be said about the routines of writers and how we get into the zone — there’s even a whole blog dedicated to it. (You can find that here, by the way.)
Music can be particularly useful in this sense. With any activity, listening to music boosts your mood and helps things go by more quickly. Pounding out a blog post to the rhythm of your iTunes playlist can be much more exciting than hearing the clickity-clack of your keyboard in a quiet room. If used consistently, it can also signify to your brain that writing time is about to start and you’d better get down to work.
Personally, I’ve found that the following routine works very well for getting me into my writing mode: brew a cup of coffee, pop in some headphones (or turn on the record player — *gasp*), and write by hand. Then, I get all of my ideas into a draft blog post before hitting “Save Draft” and diving into my editing process. Keeping the tunes on while I do this helps maintain consistency for me and keep my mind on one track.
How about you — does listening to music help or distract you when writing? Do you have any other rituals that help you get into writing mode?