Cows, Copywriters and Mozart

25 replies
I'm wondering if anyone listens to music while writing copy. John Carlton says he likes it quiet because he is such a music fan he starts to listen to the tunes and gets distracted.

I searched the archives on this and didn't find much. In this thread Ewen shares research on cows and music:
http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...ales-copy.html
He also shared that Ted Nicholas found that Mozart helped his copywriting students write better.

I like to play KUSC, a classical music station here in town. I don't know anything about classical, but other music takes me out of the copywriting zone, if you will.

What about it? Anybody cranking AC/DC, Tupac or Chubby Checker when writing copy?
#copywriters #cows #mozart
  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    Depends on my mood - I'm often listening to blues or jazz. The rhythm keeps me going and you really don't need to listen to the words to enjoy it. Classical can be a bit too mellow for me and wind up putting me to sleep rather than energizing me. I also will listen to different genres if I'm trying to channel different emotions.
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  • Profile picture of the author wrcato2
    Originally Posted by Joe Ditzel View Post

    I'm wondering if anyone listens to music while writing copy. John Carlton says he likes it quiet because he is such a music fan he starts to listen to the tunes and gets distracted.

    I searched the archives on this and didn't find much. In this thread Ewen shares research on cows and music:
    http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...ales-copy.html
    He also shared that Ted Nicholas found that Mozart helped his copywriting students write better.

    I like to play KUSC, a classical music station here in town. I don't know anything about classical, but other music takes me out of the copywriting zone, if you will.

    What about it? Anybody cranking AC/DC, Tupac or Chubby Checker when writing copy?
    I am deaf in my right ear and have hearing loss in my left. I have learned from a life time of experience, that I can tune out the world and not know what is going on around me. However, I have written copy listening to classical music. I like Mozart, very dramatic. He's my favorite.

    Also about Rock music, to me, it sounds like a bunch of noise when turned up to loudly.
    P.S. I have also written copy listening to talk radio. I probably just tuned it out though.
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  • Profile picture of the author DavidG
    I don't know if this counts, but I like listening to music very low... just enough to where I can hear myself think.

    And I try to avoid anything with lyrics simply because I'll get off track...

    I also heard that when you listen to someone talk or in this case, a sound track with lyrics that something in your brain having to do with language engages.

    .02
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    • Originally Posted by DavidG View Post

      I don't know if this counts, but I like listening to music very low... just enough to where I can hear myself think.

      And I try to avoid anything with lyrics simply because I'll get off track...

      I also heard that when you listen to someone talk or in this case, a sound track with lyrics that something in your brain having to do with language engages.

      .02

      This.


      Quiet, and avoiding lyrics if I can. But yeah, I love to listen to music while I'm working; relaxing and curiously, it actually helps me think and be more creative more often than not.
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  • I don't play music when I'm writing because it would be too distracting.

    But, I when I take a break I might listen to a favourite track or two - it can help inspire you.


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      I don't play music when I'm writing because it would be too distracting.

      But, I when I take a break I might listen to a favourite track or two - it can help inspire you.


      Steve
      Taking a break right now. Writing a marketing report for solicitors in Australia. In silence. No music. But since I'm taking a quick tea break, I'm listening to this...

      WARNING - Dirty lyrics...

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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    I need it quiet.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeremey
      Being a musician, I've never dared try listening to music while writing. Those two functions of my brain occupy the same space. And there's just no way it would work. It'd be like trying to whistle with a mouthful of crackers.

      I too need total silence and concentration, whether I'm writing copy or emails or songs, I've got to shut the door to drown out the television in the other room and sometimes resort to earplugs if the kids are feeling feisty.
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      • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
        Originally Posted by Jeremey View Post

        Being a musician, I've never dared try listening to music while writing. Those two functions of my brain occupy the same space. And there's just no way it would work. It'd be like trying to whistle with a mouthful of crackers.

        I too need total silence and concentration, whether I'm writing copy or emails or songs, I've got to shut the door to drown out the television in the other room and sometimes resort to earplugs if the kids are feeling feisty.
        I'm also a musician though, so must be different personalities/thinking styles. That said I make an effort to listen to stuff that doesn't really distract me, but then again I've got a pretty good ability to tune things out when I want to do so.

        This has been my writing music lately - also happens to be my band's set list.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jeremey
          Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

          I'm also a musician though, so must be different personalities/thinking styles. That said I make an effort to listen to stuff that doesn't really distract me, but then again I've got a pretty good ability to tune things out when I want to do so.

          This has been my writing music lately - also happens to be my band's set list.
          Yes, I'm sure everyone is different in that regard. I can't listen to music with lyrics, as I'm a singer and the words get jumbled in with what I'm focusing on writing. My writing style is such that I'll pore over a sentence or paragraph for ten or fifteen minutes, just trying to come up with the perfect word, rhythm, or cadence - rather than write "automatically" and then go back and edit. When I'm finished with a piece I'll take a hard copy and maybe adjust a few words, but for the most part I'm editing as I write. I may also remove or relocate entire sections of copy after the fact, but the body of the sections still remain intact. So it's really hard for me to deal with ANY distractions (not just music)...television, the kids, music, etc. I wish I was able to write a full first draft straight through...It would be faster I think...But I always end up focusing on each word and it just ends up drawing out the process.

          Regarding music, I spent some time in the Bay area on a music-related trip a few years ago. One of the most beautiful and amazing cities and countryside in America and I hope one day to get back!
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          • Profile picture of the author Chris Hardee
            I really enjoy John Williams while writing. I find it quite inspiring.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM8paK9o_X8

            The album Star Tracks is also great. (Sorry, I couldn't find a YouTube link for the album.)
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          • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
            Originally Posted by Jeremey View Post

            Yes, I'm sure everyone is different in that regard. I can't listen to music with lyrics, as I'm a singer and the words get jumbled in with what I'm focusing on writing...

            Regarding music, I spent some time in the Bay area on a music-related trip a few years ago. One of the most beautiful and amazing cities and countryside in America and I hope one day to get back!
            Ha! I'm a singer too Nice to (virtually) meet a kindred spirit. Yes, the bay area is amazingly gorgeous. I love this area. Next time you do make it out, look me up. I'll invite you to a gig or a jam night.
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  • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
    What does a screaming kid count as?
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  • Profile picture of the author Don Grace
    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. When yes it can vary from classical, all the way to hard metal... just NO country.

    One thing I do like, especially if I'm needing a creative boost, is I created some brain entrainment tracks that get the brain waves synced and focused. Works extremely well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
    I find having almost any music in the background extremely distracting. Not all of the time of course, but it distracts me frequently enough that I've found music in the background to be a bad thing.

    When I need to get something accomplished, I like to go down to the beach and work with the sound of ocean waves in the background. That has worked better than anything else I've found. I first found out this when in college I used to study near the Morro Bay Rock (kind of near Hearst Castle.)

    I've also tried white noise, and that seems to work almost as well when I am home ... and can't get to the beach .

    Waves on a lake just doesn't do it for me ... nothing to hear .

    I think Mark Andrews lives close the the ocean as well, and I'd be interested to know if he ever writes on or near the beach. Or anyone else living close to the ocean.

    Marvin
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Marvin Johnston View Post

      I think Mark Andrews lives close the the ocean as well, and I'd be interested to know if he ever writes on or near the beach. Or anyone else living close to the ocean.

      Marvin
      Yep. Always within a stones throw of it Marvin. Personally, I'd rather look at a woodland, much more interesting than a thin blue line 12 miles offshore. Beautiful yes but gets a little boring after a while.

      Last night, I was parked up in my motor home on a peninsular with the ocean on 3 sides. A little peninsular jutting out into the Atlantic. The waves not more than 100' below me.

      The wind was absolutely howling last night, storm force 10 (50mph) the motor home was rocking around like crazy, the curtains swaying from side to side and the winds were so strong I was seriously worried the large solar panels on the roof might get ripped off.

      Rain, what a thunderous racket! Clattering down on my fiberglass roof you could hardly hear yourself think let alone concentrate on anything. The waves below at least 20' high crashing on to the rocks, the sound reverberating up through the cliff.

      Lovely. I grin.

      Guess I must be used to it by now.

      Tonight isn't a lot different. Now parked up in a more sheltered spot about 1/4 mile from the ocean edge, snucked into a hedge to protect me from the wind. Rain is still hammering down, so another 'peaceful' night is obviously in the offing.

      Warmest regards,


      Mark Andrews
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan Curtis
      Originally Posted by Marvin Johnston View Post

      I first found out this when in college I used to study near the Morro Bay Rock (kind of near Hearst Castle.)
      Apropos of Morro Bay, I was there last week and if there is a more perfect spot on planet earth I am not aware of it. Sunshine, clear air, perfect temperature and completely relaxing. The magic of California.

      Regarding music while writing, I like to listen to Polish music on YouTube. My wife is from Poland and has found hundreds of recordings of the best performances of Polish music from the last six decades. And I don't speak Polish.

      So the music sounds great but I am not distracted by the lyrics since I don't have the slightest idea what they are singing about.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarah Harvey
    It probably depends on the individual if they tolerate music or not. If you can, then play it. Some people get distracted by it and others don't. I find that if I listen to music and write, I don't actively listen to the music as my mind focuses on what I write.
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  • Profile picture of the author zapseo
    I'm like Don Grace ...
    And varies depending upon: topic, project, how conceptually easy it is for me ...

    I have frequently enjoyed listening to something motivating before starting ... or during a break.

    I like, for instance, Madonna's "4 minutes"

    But brain wave entrainment ... AHHHHH don't leave home without it!

    Live JoyFully!

    Judy
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  • Angie,

    If I may say your "writing play list" is blazingly good.


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      Angie,

      If I may say your "writing play list" is blazingly good.


      Steve

      Haha...thanks Steve! I'm quite fond of it myself
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      • Profile picture of the author JacMer
        Ear plugs and blinders seem to work best for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author eugenedm
    I love listening to music while doing copywriting. Sometimes, I even listen to hard rock while writing. Anyway, I guess at times it depends on my mood but I don't think there's anything wrong when you listen to music while writing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeremey
    Over the weekend while trying to write with extremely excited children in the background and some extended family in town, I discovered a Mac version of a great OS app I've used for relaxation...The "Ambience" app is available on mac desktop, and you can download thousands of ambient sounds and even loops of meditative style music...Everything from recordings of wind chimes in Tibet or snowstorms in Idaho to the sound of a French marketplace. Put on some headphones and left it on loop and found that it helped my concentration considerably.
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  • Profile picture of the author rdavisconsulting
    I listen to music because it drowns out the distractions lol
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