Music and the Written Word


Everyone has their own unique approach to writing. Everyone has their own unique writing spot (we will cover that later). Like people of other professions, writers are creatures of habit. Some can thrive in the chaos of the day-to-day, able to channel that excess energy into their craft. Others need conditions to be just so or they find their story stymied. One thing writers turn to is music, or the lack thereof, to create the perfect situation for their writing. 

We began to wonder what it looked like across the board for authors. I personally find music helpful, but only if it has a beat. If it’s a song I know the lyrics to, I tend to sing along and become distracted. For that reason I turn to trap music like Migos and Rich Homie Quan. The beats inspire me and get me pumped up, and most of the time I don’t understand any of the lyrics. For other pieces, say historical research, I turn to classical. So we decided to put it to a vote and see how other writers felt about music. The results of the survey are below:


After 344 votes, 40% of those (138) said that music helped them focus. 30% (103) said that it depended, and the other 30% said it was too distracting. Many who voted in the “It Depends” category messages us to say that it depended largely on what they were writing.

We were interested by how close the vote was, so we decided to do some research ourselves. One of the most popular arguments in favor for listening to music while performing other tasks is the ‘Mozart Effect.’ Some studies have suggested that there is a relationship between music and improved ‘spatial-temporal reasoning.’ This is why mothers play classical music to their pregnant bellies and students preparing for their SATs crank out their baroque-era beats.

At the same time, other studies have demonstrated a strong correlation between memory and a silent environment. The quieter the environment, the better able the brain is to store the information. At the same time, the study did suggest that music COULD minimize the ambient noises of a crowded environment, where things like conversation, traffic, or sneezing could prove a distraction.

Regardless of what research has taken place, it seems like a majority of writers prefer the controlled sounds of their choosing over the random noise of life.


A little bit of research courtesy of the folks at


Do you have a suggestion for future surveys? Leave us a comment, and we’ll be happy to find out for you!


3 thoughts on “Music and the Written Word

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