Now, I’m not one of those writers who can listen to music while he writes (I need absolute focus), but I am one of those writers who sometimes needs a little music to get him in the right “writing mood.”
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
Music is the fastest shortcut to the human heart.
Music can help set the right mood for a scene or it can get you inspired to create. Lastly, listening to a musician speak the words that have been running around in your own head for days is very therapeutic. The process let’s you unpack your mind into that song, so that when you press “stop” and begin to write, your mind is clear and ready to create.
That’s why, instead of recommending more books today, I thought I’d recommend some great songs that I think will get your creative sparks to fly:
Magic in Me by B.O.B. featuring Rivers Cuomo
Writing can become routine, so sometimes you need a little pick-me-up to remind you that writing is supposed to be fun. Don’t feel creative today? Remember: you always have the magic in you.
Buster Vodoo Rodrigo y Gabriela
Writers love songs that don’t have lyrics. Why? Because then you can let the song become the “musical score” for whatever project you’re currently working on. So let Rodrigo y Gabriela’s frantic flourishes get your novel’s musical score started today.
Don’t Forget by Brett Dennen
Writers have to go at it alone a lot of the time, and that’s why it’s useful to have a comforting voice in your ear, giving you encouragement. If you’re looking for that comforting voice today, then let Brett Dennen sing you a nice, little, writers lullaby.
The Cave by Mumford and Sons
Can a song be both mournful and inspiring? Yes, it can. The refreshing juxtaposition between absolute despair and extreme hopefulness in The Cave seems to do something to the creative mind. The song refreshes your creativity, tickles it, and nudges it to go out and play.
Cuando Canto by Ozomatli
Writers often need to be reminded of the bigger picture. Why? Because they tend to forget just how NECESSARY they are in the bigger scheme of things. But the truth is, your writing DOES matter. If you don’t believe me, listen to Ozomatli and let their hopeful song remind you why you started this whole project in the first place.
Dumb it Down by Lupe Fiasco
These days you can’t escape the message from “experts” telling you to DUMB down your writing for your readers. If you’re annoyed by people who want to shrink the English Language down to “George Orwell size,” then you might want to listen to this song by Lupe Fiasco. In the song he stands up for his own right to use “big words”–and let them slip off his tongue like silk.
What I Got by Sublime
No one can blend zen philosophy into regular, every day life like Sublime. This song is about the singer lighting a cigarette, putting shoes on his feet, and realizing he’s broke. Literally. But in all the simplicity and normalcy of modern everyday life, the singer uncovers a universal truth: that love is all he really needs. Let Sublime remind you that the most important element you need as you set to do your work today is that other four-letter word.
Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles
I don’t think I’m the only writer that uses The Beatles to get in the mood to write. They are fantastic storytellers, and the images they create with this particular song, with that slight yearning at the back of their voices, sure puts a writer in the mood to create some compelling characters.
Me Vale by Maná
Is fear of criticism stopping you from writing today? Well then, turn up this song by Maná and dance to your heart’s content. Show those critics that you don’t care at all what they think of you. Then dust yourself off, and get right back to business.
The Greatest Man That Ever Lived by Weezer
Did you feel like the draft you were working on totally sucked today? Did you get rejected by another publisher? Or has your published book been relegated to the back of the bookstore, next to those “tween” journals with all the hearts and unicorns on the cover? Ready to give up on this whole writing thing? Okay, but before you do, turn up this song by Weezer and I promise you’ll be back to that laptop in no time.
much “and if you don’t like it, you can shove it. But you don’t like it, you love it.”
What songs put you in the “writing mood”? Share them with us in the comments below.
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