When I began writing my first novel - back in high school (and, yes, it's under the bed and will never see the light of day) - I loved to write while watching the late movie. Back then, the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) would run old movies after the late news. Black and white gems like Arsenic and Old Lace, The Philadelphia Story, Jezabel, Mrs. Miniver, The Sea Hawk - I could go on forever. I would write and watch - knowing I should be in bed, sitting up til the last credit rolled (which was right after the ending because credits always came at the beginning of old movies). Noise and TV were partners with my secret writing life.
Nowadays, I have to have complete silence when I write. Nothing, not even soft background music! Somedays the ticking of the clock on my desk drives me insane when I'm searching for just the right word, phrase, or planning out a plot line. I could never have my desk out in the living room where the TV could be tuned to the Golf Channel or The Husband could be playing Tiger Woods Golf. And if I am out there, typing away madly on my laptop or scribbling notes in my various notebooks, I will get up and leave as soon as there is a distraction.
This shouldn't surprise me. I used to go to sleep with the radio playing. I had to have the car radio on every time I was driving - anywhere. There had to be noise no matter where I went or what I did. Now is a much different story. I love the silence. I love to listen to my own thoughts as I wash the dishes or go for a walk. My brain is quieter, more receptive to ideas and epiphanies. And I do my best work while immersed in total absence of sound. To me, silence is golden.
And you? (Sounds like a McDonald's commercial) Are you the complete silence kind of writer? Or do you like noise around you as you work? What about music - I know a lot of authors create a soundtrack for their works-in-progress, does anyone out there do that? What's your noise quotient, People of Blogland?