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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…

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?

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  1. I like it if there is music playing in the background. I normally like to type at night and music seems to help me type faster.

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  2. It’s so easy for me to get distracted bc I do a lot of my blogging at work so you can imagine my day but I don’t always listen to music but for me it gets me in a better mood. A cup of coffee isn’t bad either. Upon waking in the morning I medicate for about 10mins and I remind myself the purpose of my blog-I work to inspire women to discover and express their individualism through style and their surroundings despite the negative outlet the media stresses upon them.

    So, meditation, cup of Joe and many genres of music motivates me to add that ink to that paper(virtually speaking).

    How do you express your individualism? Share with us.

    –Mannie

    http://Www.theabsolutemost.com

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  3. Lmao- typo-It’s so easy for me to get distracted bc I do a lot of my blogging at work so you can imagine my day but I don’t always listen to music but for me it gets me in abetter mood. A cup of coffee isn’t bad either. Upon waking in the morning I medidate for about 10mins and I remind myself the purpose of my blog-I work to inspire women to discover and express their individualism through style and their surroundings despite the negative outlet the media stresses upon them.

    So, meditation, cup of Joe and many genres of music motivates me to add that ink to that paper(virtually speaking).

    How do you express your individualism? Share with us.

    –Mannie

    http://Www.theabsolutemost.com

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  4. Music is the most essential factor in my life and saying that I really treat my modest iPod like the most precious stuff so that its literally playing everytime I work on something IMP. Infact, the moment I feel like writing I have my own collection of soothing instrumental music specially lined up.

    Music is Must for Me ;-)

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  5. I used to go with the peace and quiet thing, but after a while, the quiet got to be too quiet. I use my trusty iPod now; just clamp on the headphones and off I go. I like keying up specific songs for the scenes I’m writing, and the iPod is perfect for that. It’s like I have a soundtrack for my book.

    When you’re writing a funeral scene, hearing bagpipes play Amazing Grace in your ears really drives the scene home.

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  6. I prefer the quiet and I definitely have a need for no talking to me.

    When I need to write, I like to sit quietly for a few moments and really think about the subject. Inspiration usually comes!

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  7. Thank you, Erica. I’ve often found that soft background music, especially piano instrumentals, is helpful during morning quiet times. I think your suggestions regarding writers has merit. I too tend to let my “day job” get in the way of writing. Merry Christmas.

    Charles Williams
    Charleston, SC

    Author “In His Very Steps: What Does the Bible Say?”
    http://www.ihvsbooks.com

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  8. Music Therapy comes from Sound therapy. It has been proven that the heart rate becomes normal with listening to soothing music. In chakra healing.I personally use this therapy also, to activate each of the seven major chakras. The vibrations of the musical notes have been known to bring down blood pressure. Thank you for bringing this up. It is a therapy anyone can do for themselves and improve their mental, emotional and physical health.
    surekhakothari.wordpress.com

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  9. I love the idea the music increases productivity. For me, it depends on both the task at hand and my mood whether music pulls me in or distracts. Occasionally, it makes me just want to get up and dance around my office. :)

    I go through music phases. Sometimes loud, sometimes soft, anything from classical to rock to country to blues to electronic…

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    1. I go through lots of phases, too – though I’ve found that rock music makes we want to dance around the room most, so that’s usually a no-no when I’m trying to get something done ;)

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  10. First I check some other blogs and then I start writing. I know what I want to write and if I know there is no e-mail waiting or an interesting blogpost, I can start. This isn’t always positive, because time flies! :)
    (Katrien)

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  11. I write music – Then i blog ! – They go hand in hand for me – I can’t separate the two – A song i write or hear may inspire me to write a poem / essay or story – as a singer songwriter – That’s just the way it goes – Pure Fluidity !
    Cat

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  12. This is great. I am a full time musician and teacher so for me sometimes I need to get away from all types of sound to find peace and quiet on the inside. When I am working though however (ie emails, charts, paying other people etc) I need classical music or music that is just soft and peaceful. Pop music gets me carried away with the song.

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