Sunday, April 13, 2008

Auditory Overload

I am a silent worker. I can't create with music in the background, television noise or conversation. Concentration is a tenuous lifeline I hang onto when I work, hence the reason I do most of my writing during the day while the kids are at school and the house is quiet. Yet I find an unlikely source of distraction mingles with the rhythmic ticking of the cuckoo clock. One of my cats has a snoring problem. Both felines gravitate to my office during the day for their all-day naps. My Russian Blue is a silent sleeper, thankfully. He climbs onto a swivel chair and somehow turns the seat toward the wall, creating his little private space. But the other cat, my baby, snores the paint off the walls as she sleeps. What ever happened to the notion of cat naps? I used to think all cats were light sleepers, prone to wake at any little noise. But this cat sleeps like the dead. All hell could break loose around her and she'd keep on snoozing. I'm seriously considering ear plugs.
What about you? Do you play classical music while you work, or watch the TV out of the corner of your eye? Or must you crawl into the proverbial cave, surrounded by silence to entice the muse out?

6 comments:

mimi said...

Depends--I find good music keeps me going. Choice of music depends on my mood, or the mood of the scene. Movie soundtracks are great for this. I do find that stuff I can sing to gets me off track, though!

Terry Odell said...

I'm with Mimi -- music, although the mix will change with the book I'm working on. I usually find tunes that resonate for the characters. DH comes home and sits at his computer and turns on Law & Order reruns, or the History Channel or (God fobid) decides to surf. Drives me nuts. I close the door between his space and mine, but once I'm 'tuned in', it's all I hear. That's when I'll crank my music up loud enough to mask whatever he's listening to.

Katie Reus said...

TV is a serious no-no for me! The noise distracts me to the point of wanting to throw something, especially if I'm into a scene. I enjoy listening to music while I write and in fact, most of my stories have had sound tracks. I'll listen to my iPod shuffle if the man is watching tv in the next room (grrr!). It's my only way to tune out the rest of the world. My main distraction is email. I sign out of yahoo when I'm writing so I don't constantly see messages pop up :)

Julia Smith said...

Definitely music. All types - seriously. I'm currently in a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack mode. I've been listening to 'Kill Bill', 'Death Proof' and 'Pulp Fiction' over and over and over.

Dara Edmondson said...

Hmm - I seem to be in the minority about the music. Maybe I have a touch of ADD or something that keeps me from concentrating with anything in the background.

Lara Dien said...

I'm good with music--depending on what I'm writing, usually 70s punk or rock, maybe Celtic. It's other noises I have trouble with--I have a hard time blocking background noise.