Sounds and Silence

Some people might ask, “Do you listen to music as you edit, Suzelle?”

The answer is a resounding NO.

Now, this is not to say that I don’t like music in general. I adore music of many kinds. When I am not working, I listen to classic rock, modern rock, metal, techno, classical, R&B, progressive, even rap when I am in the mood. If you didn’t know me and you looked at my iTunes library, you would be very puzzled as to what kind of person I am.

It’s only natural, then, that a person might ask me if I have music on while I edit.

I do not, because I love music so much that it would be distracting to me while I work. Picture yourself at your job. Your lover (or fantasy lover) comes into your workplace and sneaks up behind you and starts stroking your hair and hugging and kissing you while you are trying to get things done and meet deadlines. Sure, it feels wonderful, but it’s also stressful because you aren’t getting your work done. That is how I would feel if I had music on while I worked.

Editing is brain work, and if the part of my brain that should be editing is taken up instead by music, I can’t get anything done. Period.

Interestingly, some of the editors in my professional organizations listen to music while they edit–but it’s always instrumental music of some kind, such as classical or New Age. Nothing with lyrics. And I can understand that, because lyrics are words, and an editor’s work consists of words, and if the two are mixed together, the result is a jumbled mess of words. Make sense?

In college, I knew people who had to have music (with lyrics) on while they studied. I failed to see how they could do it, and even at my age, I could not do it now.

Do you listen to music while you work (whether you are an editor or not)? How does it work for you?

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