Beat the Block: Listen to Music

musicWriter’s block has left countless writers with the inability to put words to paper. Whether it’s a total lack of ideas or too many ideas, writer’s block leads to convoluted thinking and stops the writer from creating a story. It’s almost inevitable and whether you’ve written one or one hundred books, writer’s block is one of the biggest obstacles a writer might face. It can occur at any stage of the writing process and for some writers, it’s incredibly difficult to beat.

Last week, I discussed the benefits of starting a new scene and how it can help a writer to overcome writer’s block. This week, I am going to discuss how listening to music can help you focus on your writing and immerse you into your story.

Regardless of where you choose to write, there are always some sort of distractions around you. If you are writing from the comfort of your bedroom, the singing of birds outside may take your attention away from your keyboard. If you are writing on a busy subway platform, you may begin to focus on the conversation that someone is having next to you. It is very difficult to focus on writing if the sounds of your reality stop you from delving into the literary world you are attempting to build. If you aren’t able to submerge yourself into the story, it’s easy to get stuck. A great way to avoid audible distractions around you is by listening to music.

Music is a great way to immerse yourself into your writing and help you concentrate. When you are listening to music, you no longer have to worry about the noises around you. I prefer music without any words, such as film scores or classical music. By listening to these types of music, you can focus solely on the words in front of you rather than the words in a song. When your ability to focus is heightened, ideas are more likely to flow from your mind and onto the page.

Music is also a great way to help you visualize a scene. Television and films utilize music in order to set a scene and determine a certain mood. If the mood is light, the music will be light. If something is about to happen, the music will be just as suspenseful. You can utilize this film and television trick when you are writing. If you are writing a suspenseful scene, make sure you pick music to match it. If you do, it’ll help you envision the scene and all of your focus will be on the story, not on the stresses of life outside of the headphones. When all of your focus is on your writing, inspiration is more likely to strike.

There have also been some studies done that suggest that listening to music may enhance your focus. According to the New York Times, one study suggests that when people listen to music while working, they are able to complete a task more quickly and think of better ideas than those who don’t listen to music while working. There have been many other studies that suggest that listening to certain types of music can also increase memory and concentration. Although the topic is debated and it certainly helps if you enjoy the music that you’re listening to, music does affect the brain in a positive way that can help you get over writer’s block.

Whether your music of choice is a piece of classical music or a film score, listening to music is a great way to help you focus on your writing. Music can help you dive into the world you are creating by eliminating the distractions around you. When you become a part of your literary world, it’s easier to come up with ideas and keep the story moving. If your ideas are fresh and frequent, writer’s block will no longer be a problem.

I will be continuing my Beat the Block series throughout the month of April to provide tips and tricks to beat writer’s block. If you have ever defeated writer’s block by listening to music, please share your thoughts in the comments.

Beat the Block Series:
Beat the Block: Use Writing Prompts
Beat the Block: Get Physical
Beat the Block: Start a New Scene

Until next week,



3 thoughts on “Beat the Block: Listen to Music

  1. iggy23

    Music seems to distract me as well, unfortunately. I usually write in silence so that I can hear my thoughts and visualise them better. I can see how it can help though. As you said, the music aids in setting the mood so someone might be able to be in the “zone” for that particular scene. For me, I think that having a quiet surrounding will enhance my concentration just like how it does during examinations. I think the main reason is because I don’t do anything for my writer’s block. Instead of sitting around and trying to overcome it, I just do other things until an idea pops up eventually. I actually just posted my own method of overcoming the lack of ideas but it’s not really a tip – it’s more like how I cope with it. It’s great that you have so many ways to combat writer’s block. Hopefully there are others who have taken your advice 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. debbiedavisbooks Post author

      Thanks for your feedback! I definitely understand how silence might be preferable to some people. I know that sometimes music can trigger certain memories and in turn, bring about distractions. Music tends to help me, but it’s interesting to hear your thoughts! Sometimes giving your brain a mental break is another good way to get an idea. After all, it’s hard to think of ideas if you’re stressing about writer’s block. Thank you! I hope others have found this helpful as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Beat the Block: Change Your Surroundings | Debbie Davis Books

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