Recently, I created a station on Jango specifically for this book, which is as close to a playlist as I'll ever get for my books. I started out with the band Of Monsters and Men then added in The Lumineers and Phillip Phillips and then Delta Rae. All artists that, for me, say 'fantasy'.
It has totally helped me get in the mood for writing. Even when I don't feel like writing, once I throw this on, I can sit down and at least knock out a few hundred words. And this is totally awesome, considering I've had a tough time these past couple years getting the words out.
Last night, I was in the process of knocking out way more than a few words when a song came on that was totally not in line with the mood I was going for. Oh, it was in line with the general theme of the station, so I wasn't going to give it a thumbs down and have it removed permanently from the playlist. I was just going to click next and move on. But by the time I had made the necessary move from Word to browser, I was already hooked on the song. Then I went to my search engine and looked for the video of it and listened not only to the song, but to the lead-in where the songwriter talks about writing the song and why he wrote it. (The song was No Piece in Quiet by Delta Rae, btw. It's pretty and kinda sad.)
By the time that was finished, I was derailed. Pretty and sad is fine, but it definitely didn't put me in a place where I could write the next BIG SCENE. I mean, if the next scene had been a pretty and sad scene it would've been great inspiration, but the next scene is fraught with tension and action. I need zippier music for that.
In the end, getting derailed was okay because it was after 8 anyway and I did already have over 1700 words. The song probably derailed me because I was already getting tired. My writing stamina ain't what it used to be. I let it atrophy. Still, I really should've just clicked past this song and kept writing. Worked on rebuilding the stamina and all that.
What about you? Does music help or hurt your writing? If you don't write, does it help or hurt your focus on other things? Do you ever just get derailed by a song?