Music & Writing: To Listen or Not to Listen? And 3 Reasons Why You Should

I love music. I always have.

microphoneUnfortunately, I don’t have that gene that some get to understand the theory of music or the voice to be the next winner of any of the singing reality television shows.

 I have no idea how my daughter ended up with her angelic high pitched Disney Princess voice. But she could get a job at the Magic Kingdom as Snow White if she felt so inclined on her voice alone.

As much as I love music though, when I started my writing journey a few years back, I was against anything except silence. Locked up in a room with nothing going on.

But I’ve learned something about myself this year since I put the pedal to metal and got serious about my writing career:

When I’m in the groove and serious about my work, music doesn’t distract me.

But this doesn’t work for everyone. Those who’ve been at the writing game a while and know their process probably already know the answer to whether or not music work for them.

Chances are you’ll know in one sitting whether or not listening to music while writing works for you. But if you’re on the fence or new to the game, I say, give it a shot.

Here are 3 reasons I found works for me and may work for you:

1 – Focus: Silence works for some, but for me, I found myself listening to the television from the other room or my daughter talk in her room (next to my office) instead of writing.

When I decided I needed something to drown out the distractions, I started with movie scores. No lyrics to be distracted by either.Headphones

2 – Inspiration: As I’ve progressed in my writing, I’ve been able to move to other types of music that include lyrics.

Songs tell a story to a set of notes, what better way to be inspired?

Keith Urban’s song “Break on Me” has helped inspire the story line of my next manuscript. Every time I hear the song, I can’t help but play out scenes in my head that I want to put in my novel.

3 – Mood: For me, music can lift me up or make me cry. Lyrics or no.

Certain movie soundtracks, such as Legends of the Fall (one of my favorites), give me an incredible bittersweet feeling that makes it a great score to play when I’m writing those types of scenes.

Or when I’m writing those scenes between two characters where the sexual tension is palpable, I find that sultry “baby making songs” work well for that, such as Eric Church’s “Like a Wrecking Ball”.

If you’re a writer or even a student that studies, do you listen to music? If so, what works for you? What doesn’t?

Has a particular song inspired any of your stories?

I’d love to see what other creatives listen to while they are making something (besides babies)!

Leave a comment for me below!

‘Til Next Time,

Get Creative!



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