In my on-going quest to perfect my process, and redefine it for my current work-in-progress, I experiment.
I have read of authors who listen to music while writing. At first I thought that was just crazy. It would be terribly distracting and would inject the wrong mood into a story. Now I am using it as a tool. Today, I turned on Pandora and wrote out a scene that has been giving me trouble. If a song didn't seem to fit with the mood of the piece, I would click dislike, and something else would come on.
I challenged myself to the music, like Finish this part by the time the song is over. Certain songs would truly help me focus. I'd forget the real world existed until the song was over. Then I'd look down and discover I had written a page.
The type of music is key. I chose from my indie/folk/country stations : The Be Good Tanyas, Over the Rhine, and Sufjan Stevens for example. They are all artists who embrace whatever odd inflections find their way into their voices, who really know how to blend vocals and instruments until they are inseparable. They helped me to just release the story swirling round in my brain, to not seek perfection. To just get it out.
Had I listened to synthed mainstream pop, I may not have been similarly inspired. I may have been afraid to make mistakes. Who knows, though? Maybe sometime I'll see what Lady Gaga can do to a scene. But only if she's right for it. Only if she fits.