Oct 12, 2011

Music to Write to

I love music. I've never studied it, I can't play an instrument, and my singing voice is forgiveable. My wife is the music expert, not me (and you should hear her sing!), but I know what I like and what works to go along with a narrative. Music's like the most amazing drug. It just lifts me and invigorates me.

So it should come as no surprise that I love listening to music while I write. I'll assemble playlists in Media Player, on iTunes, on my iPod, or even just on Youtube to play while I work, depending on my WIP, and often keep certain songs playing just to keep my mood in the right place.

I thought I'd share some of the tracks that most often find their way into my playlists to keep me in the right mindset.

This song was my main theme for writing my first novel. Particularly significant, I feel, is the line "Fire and water, earth and sky. Mysteries surround us, legends never die." This is Nathan Shepherd's theme song, most definitely.

This is just a track I found on Youtube which really resonated with me. It's got such a great beat and the rising motif really gets my heart thumping.

Back to Nathan Shepherd again. This is my "Nathan saves the day" track. Apart from the quiet section in the middle, it just exudes heroic moments. I have an edited version on my PC with the middle section removed. It works really well.

I love me some Wicked. This version of Defying Gravity has become the theme song for my current WIP, Nightfall, since my hero suffers under a curse that turns him into a half-bird creature every night. Through the course of the story, he learns to turn his curse into a gift and use it for good.

How many of you listen to music while you write? Care to share any favourites?


  1. Personally I can't listen to music while I write, because I get too distracted, but you've introduced me to some great new stuff here. Thanks, Paul!

  2. I like listening to instrumental music while writing. (Words distract me.) But I have certain songs I associate with different projects. Like for one I have in mind (that I haven't started yet), this would be the theme: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZhQOvvV45w&ob=av3e And for the one I'm researching right now, this is the theme: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSkb0kDacjs

  3. I do quiet, mostly, but instrumental would be okay. But I love that you can do it, and that the music helps you write. My husband paints to all kinds of music, and the type of music definitely influences the style of painting, the depth of color. you should see him go wild with his palette knife!

  4. Matthew: Glad you liked the tracks. I do know several authors who need silence for working.

    Audrey: That first track is interesting. Quite mellow. I love the second track. It's so melancholic and foreboding, but somehow threatening at the same time.

    Melissa: That's so cool. I find nothing inspires me like music. You should see about posting some of his paintings on your blog.

  5. I wish I could write to music, but sadly no. It's silence all the way!

  6. "Music doesn't solve your problems..but allows u to dance all over them" - to throw in a quote from one of my favourite bands! I couldn't agree any more...Great selection Paul, thanks for sharing!