The following was originally posted on May 5, 2010.
Here’s the scenario: It’s late at night and after a long day of doing what you have to do (i.e. working, cooking, cleaning, etc.) you finally get a moment to do what you want to do: write. You sit down in your personal writing space, put your fingers on the keyboard (or wrap them around a pen) and wait for the words to come to you.
And wait some more.
And then pass out face down on your desk for an uncomfortable (and unproductive) nap.
We’ve talked a lot about how hard it is to find time to write, but even when you do find the time, how do you also find the inspiration? My answer is music.
Not only can music stir up your brain waves, the right music can get you in the right mood for the exact subject matter you need to write about. Music can be a geographical reference (jazz, latin, hip-hop, western, etc.), an association with a particular time period (big band, disco, grunge, etc.) or specifically associated with certain emotions.
Currently, I’m working on a piece that deals with some difficult subject matter–death. It’s hard to get myself in the right frame of mind to explore such a difficult, emotional topic. So I’ve created a playlist to help me stay on track, including songs like:
- Keep Me in Your Heart by Warren Zevon
- View from Heaven by Yellowcard
- If I Die Young by The Band Perry
- White Morning by Tony Lucca
- Paradise by Bruce Springsteen
On the opposite end of the spectrum, when I need to get myself in a light, cheerful mood, I turn to some of these songs:
- All Night Long by Jason Mraz (cover of the Lionel Richie classic)
- Don’t Trust Me by 3OH!3
- Ain’t To Proud to Beg by The Temptations
- ABC by the Jackson 5
- Chicken Fried by the Zac Brown Band
I usually listen to my chosen playlist before I start writing (my ADD makes it necessary for me to write in total silence), but I’m sure some of you probably like to listen while you’re in the act. Either way, music can definitely put you in the right mood and give you the inspiration to get going. When you find time to write, you definitely don’t want to waste it!
What songs get you in the writing groove? Share your playlists with us in the comments!