When I write my concentration is so fierce it feels like a protective bubble of energy just arises on its own around me. As shields go, it’s right up there with the one around the Starship Enterprise when Kirk is going all out against the Klingons. When I’m in the zone like this I can write with bombs going off around me, the TV blasting, people talking, even arguing nearby. Admittedly, I didn’t get here because I woke up one day and thought, hey, that would be very Zen. Instead of practicing levitating coffee tables with your mind today, let’s try “shielding.” As they say, necessity is the true mother of invention. These days, I often get more access to quiet, so I can drop the shields, and yes, even play music. I don’t do that too often though. I find that getting inside the heads of my various characters requires shifting brainwave patterns to accommodate the way they think, feel, sense, and come at the world. So the last thing I need is my mind entraining to the music in the background which is conducive to a certain state of mind, which might be very relaxing, just not what my character needs to be all that he can be. On the rare occasions when I do use music, it’s usually classical, most often Mozart, and if I’m listening it’s because I’m creatively blocked and just desperate to get things flowing again. If it works, once I’m back in the zone, I can’t say that I’m really paying attention any more.
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