I’m easily distracted when I write. It doesn’t matter where I am or what is going on around me. An empty house could demand my attention as much as one full of people. It’s my ADD getting the better of me.
Putting on headphones (actual headphones, not earbuds) and playing music solves this problem nicely. But it has to be the right type of music. I can’t just throw in some rock, metal, or other stuff I usually listen to and expect to keep my head clear. The music is just too engaging. Nope. I need music without lyrics. No words should be going into my brain aside from those I create for my story. So, what do I listen to?
I’ve found that movie and show soundtracks not only block all the distractions and let me write, but they can also set the atmosphere for whatever I’m writing. So, I’ve started building a collection of soundtracks. It’s still smaller than I want, but it’s still growing.
Each book I’m working on has its own atmosphere, so when I sit down to write, I choose a soundtrack that both fits the mood of my work-in-progress and sounds good to me at the time.
For example, when writing The Wand and The Scepter, I listened to The Mummy (the Brendan Frasier version) and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The former fit with the Egyptian theme like a glove and the latter was chock full of Wizarding World goodness.
My latest book is kind of a supernatural modern noir mystery, so finding a soundtrack was a little tricky. The Sherlock Holmes (Rober Downey, Jr. version) has worked well, even though that has more of a Steampunk feel. I’ve found that the John Carter soundtrack works well for most of what I write.
So, if you have trouble keeping your attention on your writing and can do with a little added mood, try a movie soundtrack!