I know a lot of writers love to have background music going on when they write. Some create playlists or soundtracks for their WIPs. As for me, I've never been able to do that. Music distracts me. If it's a movie soundtrack, I'll revisit the movie in my mind. If the music has words, I'll sing along. If it doesn't have words, I'll be transported back to my high school and college symphonic band days (not places I want to visit too often!).
But I have found that the best and most productive background "music" for me is an Atlanta Braves baseball game. It's the perfect structure: I can only write in 2- or 3-hour spurts, about the length of a game. I take breaks at the commercials between innings. During the season, there's a game almost every night, which means I'm writing almost every night. When the Braves have an off day, I vacuum and dust.
I was never a big baseball fan growing up, but came to love Braves baseball shortly after my mom passed away. My dad was a huge fan and lived in a nearby retirement community. I would go visit him almost every night, and we would watch the game. There wasn't a lot of conversation, but we were together. I grew to love the game.
Maybe that's why writing to baseball works so well for me. It still connects me with my dad. Even though he's been gone for seven years, I can feel his love when I watch those games. And that love continues to inspire me.
Bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, two outs. I sit with my laptop, confident I can hit a writing grand slam. Whether I will or not, remains to be seen. But I'm playing the game.