I'm Maria Popova, and This Is How I Work

Super inspiring and worth the read!!


What do you listen to while you work?

Music is incredibly important in my life. I practically live with headphones glued to my ears—when I work, when I bike (don’t tell my mom), when I work out. So much so that I have various music modalities for different purposes—for reading books mostly classical, lots of Vivaldi; for light reading All Songs Considered, KEXP’s Song of the Day; for writing longer pieces, lots of jazz; and many, many more.

Lately my talented friend Debbie Millman has been sending me some wonderful custom playlists, so I’ve been working to those a lot.

I listen to podcasts quite a bit—mostly RadiolabDesign MattersScience Times99% Invisible, and Philosophy Bites—but I like to give those my full attention, so I don’t listen to them while writing. I do it on the subway, on my bike, at the gym, during flights. They do, however, often give me story ideas, so I supposed they still fall within the spectrum of work listening. Then again, the line between “work” and “life” is virtually nonexistent for me, so practically everything I listen to (or see, or do) feeds into my “work” one way or another.