My Writing Playlist: Songs to Listen To Before, During, and After Writing

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I love listening to music about writing. Two awesome art forms come together to support each other and inspire us unworthy humans. It’s like having two adorable puppies give you a hug at the same time.

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Teddy patiently listening to my writing playlist. If my dog likes it, everyone should like it.

I have two different playlists that are ‘writer inspired.’ The first is stocked with calming, beautiful music so I can concentrate on writing, and the second consists of literal songs about how cool it is to be a writer (spoiler alert: SUPER COOL.) I usually listen to this playlist before I start writing to get excited about being a writer, and after I finished working for the day,

Without further ado, here’s my writer’s playlist:

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  • EVERYTHING BIRDY HAS EVER WRITTEN.
    • Birdy’s music is perfect writing music. Some songs are warm, others are stark. All are calming and beautiful. Birdy is who I listened to when I won NanoWrimo.
  • Oh Wonder’s self-titled album.
    •  Everything I said about Birdy applies to Oh Wonder.
  • Lorde’s Pure Heroine
    • Lorde’s music is perfect for writing tense action scenes. If you are a super easily distracted writer, Lorde might not be for you, because her lyrics are so intricate you might want to listen to them instead of writing. But if you have a tendency to zone out after a while, like me, she’s perfect for absorbing a suspenseful and witty mood.

I usually just listen to these three albums, so I know what’s coming up next and am not taken out of the zone each time a new song plays.

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  • Magic by Ben Kweller
    • You are a writer and therefore magic. Bonus points if you’re writing a fantasy novel.
  • Burning Gold by Christina Perri
    • This song will inspire you to finish your WIP because this is your time and you are a boss.
  • The Writer by Ellie Goulding
    • Cute love song using writing as a metaphor.
  • People Like Us by Kelly Clarkson
    • The ultimate writing group support song.
  • A World Alone by Lorde
    • Everyone has a favorite semi-angsty teen love song and this is mine. Sometimes it feels like you and your writing are in ‘a world alone,’ and I love how this song ends. (Now you have to go listen to the song to figure out how it ends. 😉 )
  • Life in Color by One Republic
    • Because your awesome writing lights the world up with color. Your plot is the light bulb and your characters are the electricity. Plug everything in, and turn the lamp on.
  • Brave by Sara Bareilles
    • “Let the words fall out.” This song will validate your decision to kill off that character. You were being brave! (Your readers may call your bravery ‘cruel’ and cry over the death of said character, but that’s a problem for another day.)
  • Schuyler Sisters / Nonstop / Hurricane / Burn from Hamilton
    • Okay, so I really like Hamilton. I love how big a part writing plays in the musical. First of all, listen to Schuyler Sisters, because YOU are the mind at work Angelica is looking for. Then, listen to Nonstop, because Hamilton wrote THE OTHER 51! Nonstop is a great writing inspiration song. WORK HARDER. Then, listen to Hurricane and Burn back to back. Both brilliantly display the power of writing. Hurricane is all about how Hamilton wrote his way out of poverty, and Burn is all about how Hamilton wooed Eliza with words, and how eventually, writing something too true destroyed her. All because of words.
  • Paperback Writer by the Beatles
    • Is any writing playlist complete without this song? I mean, to start off, it’s THE BEATLES, and because the Beatles were amazing, they wrote us a song about the aspirations of a writer. If you don’t have this song, get it now, and if you do have it, play it!

What songs do you guys listen to while writing? Do you listen to music at all? Let me know in the comments!

 

55 thoughts on “My Writing Playlist: Songs to Listen To Before, During, and After Writing

  1. WL Hawkin says:

    Excellent post! I have playlists on Spotify that are titled after the books I am working on, and bring me right into that mood. I love Indie artists. One song I discovered that I just love is by Passenger, “Young as the Morning, Old as the Sea.” I also listen to medieval music and “Illumination” Gregorian chanting which is one of my favourites. ~Wendy

    Liked by 2 people

  2. TheOriginalPhoenix says:

    Birdy is nice! I try to listen to mid-tempo KPOP though because it’s tough for me to write while listening to songs in the same language. (I get distracted listening to the words.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lottie @ Novellique says:

    I absolutely second Lorde as a good person to listen to while writing. I usually listen to different genres to capture the mood of the scene. I try to keep listening to the same bit while writing the same section although I’ll mix it up every now and then. I also tend to go for remixes of songs I know well, so a lot is electronic music for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. quintessentialhabits says:

    Oh my gosh, LOVE listening to “Brave” by Sara Bareilles!! I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Real Neat Blog Award!! Details are on my site, but I just love your blog posts and the wonderful layout and images on your site!! Thanks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Idle Muser says:

    I am not sure but I feel I cannot listen to music while writing, or else I will end up writing the lyrics of the song I am listening to, probably. 😀 Though, listening to a song with only music in it and no lyrics works for me. I listen to it when I am in some place where I cannot enjoy noise-free environment, and then that particular music goes into me through my head-phones providing me an ambiance where I can concentrate.
    But your playlist gave me few names which I haven’t heard to till now. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Brandilyn Gilbert says:

    Great post! I’ll have to check out some of the songs here I haven’t heard yet! I find I listen to a lot of soundtracks while writing–the instrumental scores are composed in order to create a certain feeling for a certain type of scene, so I find they’re perfect for getting into (and staying in) the mood of my action scenes and tragic scenes in particular.

    …I recently also spent a few hours listening to “creepy music box” youtube playlists in order to get a particular scene out right, and that left me feeling a little creeped out for the rest of the day, lol. But made the writing work!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mystangelwings says:

    You list has made me curious! I’ve only heard of about half those songs. To answer your question , I have a variety of songs I listen to for writing. It all depends on what kind of scene I’m working on. Halsey, Lindsey Sterling, Starset, Nickelback, Demi Lavato, Within Temptation, and Theory of a Deadman are all on my current writing playlist, plus probably others I’m not thinking of.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. jamesrneal says:

    I almost always listen to music when writing late at night. It is a very weird mix of music guided by what I’m writing and my mood. It can be anything from contemporary Arabic (Niyaz, etc.) to Gregorian and Latin Cathedral music to Johnny Cash or the Lumineers. Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. caseyfaehewson says:

    Thank you for sharing your playlist. I have character playlists and my own writing playlists for writing inspiration, but I can’t listen to music while I write, it’s too distracting. I’d never thought about a playlist for after writing. Will have to think about that!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kristen the Floridian says:

    I really loved this post because I have a writing playlist as well. But it doesn’t really have songs about writing, it has songs that inspire different emotions in me when I’m writing. When I need some inspiration and need to feel confident, I listen to History Maker by Dean Fujioka. And when I need to write a kick a$$ fight scene or something, I listen to Purple Lamborghini from the Suicide Squad soundtrack. Good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. rickallden says:

    Ace post; I LOVE music when I’m writing – just can’t handle lyrics though. They just slip in; “once upon a…Time to Say Goodbye”. Currently listening to the Out of Africa Soundtrack on a loop – lovely stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. kenneth says:

    com/2017/06/07/my-writing-playlist-songs-to-listen-to-before-during-and-after-writing/” rel=”nofollow”>WILDsound Writing and Film Festival Review. Ace post; I LOVE music when I’m writing – just can’t handle lyrics though.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. wishing0nfallingstars says:

    Excellent! I will be sure to listen to some of those songs tomorrow as I write! Thank you! The songs I listen to depend on my mood and what I am writing about! If it’s a sad love post then I listen to sad love music! And so on. Thank you for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Katie says:

    YES FOR HAMILTON!! I personally can’t listen to songs with words while I’m writing- I mostly stick to The Dark Night OST and Skyrim soundtracks, because they’re relatively low key and good atmosphere music for my book.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Angie Sim says:

    I agree! My second favorite thing (to writing itself) is making playlists of relaxing music to listen to while jotting my ideas down. It helps me to unwind and let myself go.

    Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to more of your pieces. 🙂

    angieyhsim.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

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