I have to have music on in the background while I'm writing, because a silent room feels... odd. I can't have the TV on (unless someone else is watching it in the same room, in which case I'll have my headphones on) because I find it distracting, but lyrics in songs - even songs I'd usually sing along to - don't pose a problem at all.
For me, music can help set the mood: upbeat for a fun scene, ballads for more moving ones, or festive favourites for Christmassy scenes. And music was extra important for me while writing Book 12, because I knew there'd be a big gap between drafts and that I'd be writing a whole new book for Nanowrimo between them.
While writing the first draft, I set up a playlist on Spotify with a lot of 70s music (because this features in the book) as well as songs that I felt motivating (fast beat = fast typing?) and I listened to it, from the beginning, during every writing session so that now, when I hear The Buzzcocks' 'Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)' I can't help thinking about Cleo. The plan was to have a set of music that immediately brought me back into Cleo's world so that it would be easier to go back there when the time came to start the second draft.
But did it work?
I finished the first draft of Book 12 at the beginning of August 2020 and didn't return to it until late February 2021, meaning there was a gap of over six months, and I do think having that same playlist, that I listened to for every writing session over the four months it took to write the first draft, helped to set the mood again. I set the playlist going and I was back in Clifton-on-Sea, back in Cleo's world, ready to get going on her story.