Journey. Beethoven. Sinatra. The Avenue Q Soundtrack.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to music options in 2018. Which is good because everyone has different taste and different things they enjoy.
And for writers, we all have different things we like listening to when we work.
Now, I work in a music store so I’m literally surrounded by music pretty much all day, every day to the point that I can’t work in silence. I’m listening to Louden Swain’s, Sky Alive, album as I write this.
I’m also a big movie watcher and the way music affects a scene and the mood of the story is something that has always interested me.
For this reason, it’s always super important for me to have music on while I’m writing.
Now, I have different playlists for each of my projects. I used to listen to the same things for everything I was working on (usually film scores), but found this really didn’t help as all it did was make me want to watch the film.
By having different playlists, I can pick the music I listen to for each project and the songs on each of these playlists really helps me get in the right mindset for what I’m working on.
When I’m working on Brave Young Boys I listen to a lot of songs about war and loss. Carrie Underwood’s, “Just a Dream”; Dean Brody’s, “Brothers”; and Rise Against’s, “Hero of War” are just a few.
It’s not the most cheery thing to listen to, but it definitely gets me in the perfect mindset for working.
Kind of on the opposite end of the spectrum, I have a different writing project that involves two people going on a road trip. This playlist consists of (mostly) happy, fun songs.
“Beat This Summer” by Brad Paisley; “500 Miles” by The Proclaimers”’ and “mmmbop” by Hanson are three songs I listen to a lot when working on this particular story.
However, not every song directly relates to a theme of the novel.
In some cases a song will remind me of a character. Or I’ll hear a song and go “oh my god that’s perfect.”
Two instances where this has happened are with “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett and “Lost Boy” by Ruth B (for two very different writing endeavors).
Everyone likes music. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who didn’t like music. It’s a universal thing, something that, even if you don’t speak the language in the song, you can still bob your head to the beat.
As a writer, different types of music inspire both my work and myself. I find it helps keep the story moving, gives me ideas for different things, and gives me a connection to my characters. It’s a language that transcends the usual barriers of most other languages.
Now I’d like to hear from you! Do you listen to music when writing? Is there a particular style of music you prefer to listen to, whether in life or when working?
Let me know down below and also let me know if you want to talk more about writing playlists!
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*Image at start of post does not belong to me, it was found on Google*