It is all very well to be able to write books, but can you wiggle your ears?

What does your writing desk sound like?

There are lots of pictures online of famous authors’ desks. They’re great fun. But for me, maybe because I work on the radio, I always wonder what they sound like. Did Dickens have a grandfather clock ticking away while he wrote? Did Tolkien scribble away to the sound of a crackling log fire?

For me, sound creates mood better than anything else. Writing late into the night when the rest of the world falls silent is one of my favorite things. I use music. I often listen to the same track every night before I start writing. It’s a Pavlovian call to my brain that I’m about to slip into writing mode. Hopefully my creativity begins to salivate as I settle into the familiar music.

When I was writing The Deadhorse Project I began most writing sessions listening to Tori Amos’s A Sort of Fairytale. Deadhorse is a town at the top of the Dalton Highway in Alaska and the book’s working title was Way Up North, a lyric from the song.

I spent a lot of time listening to the Charlatans when I was writing the first draft of Helter Skelter. And if I Fall gets a passing mention in the first chapter.

What do you listen to when you’re writing?


2 comments on “What does your writing desk sound like?

  1. Cassie
    December 5, 2012

    This is a really thoughtful blog post. Now you have me thinking about the sound of my desk. It’s in a pretty silent room, but there’s an old cat clock with a moving tale a hallway away and I swear I can hear that thing in my house. It was up when I moved in so I just didn’t take it down. I think that’s the sound I would choose. Thanks for making me think. 🙂

  2. brianhmoll
    December 6, 2012

    I think Dickens had a cage full of orphans in his closet that he would poke with a stick, in order to capture the rhythms of their suffering. I used to listen to music, but lately it distracts me. I get more into the music than my own story. So I’ve been trying silence lately.

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This entry was posted on December 5, 2012 by in Books, My Books, Research, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , .
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