How to Use Music as Writing Inspiration

I’ve always been an avid listener of music. I grew up in a house where music was always playing. My Dad taught me from a young age the importance of music, and what an impact it can make. Since then, my tastes in music have not only grown and changed, but become one of the biggest sources of inspiration for all my writing.

That said, I simply cannot write without finding a few songs to use as inspiration for whatever I’m currently working on. I don’t always listen to music when I write, but when I’m stuck on a scene, I’ll pull up the playlist I’ve created and take some time to listen for a while. Normally, inspiration strikes while being lost in the lyrics and rhythm of the music. I swear by it being an excellent source of inspiration, and if you’re struggling, here’s a few tips that’ll help you out!


Step 1: Find Songs That Resonate With You and Your WIP

The first thing to do is find songs that will resonate with you and what you’re working on. Whether it be songs with lyrics in them, or instrumental music, it’s important to find songs that will really evoke ideas, inspiration, or motivation within you.

* Emotion

What kind of emotion are you hoping to invoke? Love? Sadness? Anger? What songs bring tears to your eyes? Find music that will accurately represent what kind of emotion you want to feel, especially if you’ll be writing it for specific scene.

* Lyrics

Listen to the lyrics next! There are so many great lines within song lyrics that have sparked so many of my ideas. Here’s some examples of songs with lyrics that have really inspired me.

 

*Soundtrack

If you could pretend your book was being turned into a movie, what songs would you want on the soundtrack? Look at examples of all the other great movie soundtracks and study how they fit into the atmosphere and theme of the world.

Step 2: Create a Playlist

Once you’ve picked out plenty of songs, the next step is to create a playlist. My favorite way to do this is create one in my iTunes library, putting all the songs for that current WIP into the playlist. Then when I’m writing – I listen to that playlist and only that playlist! It keeps me focused on the task at hand, and gets me pumped up to write. It keeps me from getting distracted wanting to get up and do something else, similar to when your favorite song comes on in the car and you don’t want to get out.

The most important step is figuring out the right songs that really capture the mood you’re trying to convey. I find pretty much all my songs through iTunes, or by falling down a rabbit hole in YouTube and finding new artists.

Check out some of the songs on my Androids Series playlist:

• Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Lorde
• In for the Kill (Skream’s Lets Get Ravey remix) – La Roux
• The Only One – Evanescence

• 24 – Jem
• Panic Switch – Silversun Pickups
• The Outsider – A Perfect Circle
• Believer – Imagine Dragons

Or even one of my newer projects, Forbidden:

• Horns – Bryce Fox
• Seven Devils – Florence + The Machine
• Bedroom Hymns – Florence + The Machine

• Don’t Let Me Go – RAIGN
• Sorry – Halsey
• Love is a Sacrifice – Ivy & Gold

Step 3: Use it as Writing Fuel

Once you’ve crafted your playlist, get to writing! Play your music while you work, and let it keep you motivated and in the zone of your world.


What music do you listen to while writing? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO – Devon

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