My friends like to talk about their favorite albums they listen to while writing or painting.
Confession: I don’t enjoy listening to music while I work. I have very particular music tastes, and I find it distracting when I’m trying to draw or write. Or in the case of classical music, it relaxes me to the point of sleep.
Instead, I play a movie or a TV series in the background. Not something new where I must pay attention to know what the hell is happening. I choose something that I have watched multiple times. Something that is light on plot, and thick with great dialogue. This means a sitcom, for the most part, but not always.
Also, playing a familiar movie or TV show has the benefit of the enforced break. Studies show that taking a break after every 45 minutes to an hour is good for you? I am really bad at taking breaks. My poor brain loves to hyperfocus, which has its pros and cons. Yet I am one of the many people in your life who must stop what they’re doing when the “good part” comes on.
You know the good part. It’s that moment of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when Gene Wilder does the somersault. Or it’s that moment in Fellowship of the Ring where Gandalf screams, “You… shall not… PASS!” Anything that requires your devoted attention for one moment, then following it with a content sigh and returning to the task at hand.
We all have our unique processes of working and creating. Some require complete silence, others the noise of a coffee shop. Me? I love being in the middle of a sketch and knowing exactly when Luke from Gilmore Girls is going to say, “I have no patience for jam hands!”
My go-to background noise creators…
The West Wing
One Day at a Time (2017)
Parks and Recreation
The Great British Bake-Off
When Harry Met Sally
Bridget Jones’s Diary
Julie & Julia
And, of course, most of the Disney canon