Emily P. on Writing with Music

By February 6, 2017Writing about Writing

Shout out to Reilly W. for her recent post on what kind of music she likes listening to while writing. I learned a lot about writing, and—more importantly, how I write—when I came to college, mostly because that’s when I started uber regularly writing. I liked writing before I came to DePaul, but school required that I sit down and do the thing—write—every day. The Discover class I took, a course that some Freshman choose to take where they come to DePaul 1 week early and explore Chicago, was based on Chicago Literature, and part of the course included writing every day. A fitting start indeed, aligning with how I’d spend the following years. You might say it inspired me to be where I am today—a writing tutor and writing and language enthusiast 🤓 💙


pen & paper vs. a word processor

I quickly learned that while I romanticize handwriting and the particularly material and physical aspects of writing, I prefer composing on a computer. I can’t handwrite nearly as quickly as I think, and I hate laboriously scratching out what I’ve written and don’t like anymore. My feelings about what I write are erratic and ephemeral, and I need tools that can keep up with me. Part of me will always admire old-school pen & paper, but when it comes to getting work done, word processors are the way to go.



music: distracting or inspiring?

Well, both. It depends. I learned that I am severely deterred by listening to music with words I can understand. That is, words in English, maybe Spanish, and a small amount of Japanese. However, I think listening to lyric-less music is the jam (There are a few exceptions). I’m more focused and productive than if I was in a completely quiet environment.


Check out this Spotify playlist I made of some of my favorite writing jams—it will likely be updated with fresh finds or rotating classic favs, so be sure to check back in. I’ve also added a couple songs to our collaborative playlist that Reilly W. started for us. I hope to hear what you think!

What music are you writing with?


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