For the past six months I’ve been listening to the same album whenever I write. This isn’t an absolute “I must listen in order to write” thing. Many times I listen to something else or don’t listen to anything at all. But most days I fire up iTunes, go to my Bon Iver playlist and listen to their self-titled album.

A few minutes ago I was listening to something else and was just sitting here with nothing coming to mind to write about. I Cmd+Tabbed over to iTunes and switched over to Bon Iver. Then immediately I started typing this.

Is it the conditioning that caused me to start typing? I’m not sure. I know it helped though. I generally get through the first 2.5-3 tracks before I finish writing. For some reason they just help me focus in on what I’m doing. I’m not worried about my phone buzzing, which it just did. I don’t care about the couple emails in my inbox I can see I have in the other tab. I’m just focused in.

Consistency helps so much when you’re trying to work on something. Steven Pressfield in The War of Art tells about the prayer he says before he sits down and writes. It focuses him in on the task at hand just like Minnesota, WI by Bon Iver does for me.

That’s about all I have for today. Do you have focus music of your own?

– Josh