Rachel Saunders's picture
Rachel Saunders from York, UK is reading Lots of factual stuff for ideas February 12, 2013 - 11:38am

After reading various comments in the Teleport Us thread, I though I would do a mix to inspire creativity. I alway use film, game, and classical music to write to, and this mix is a blend of all three. Hope it inspires your muse. Here is the link: https://soundcloud.com/random-acts/film-chill

On a more open note, what sort of music do y'all listen to when you're writing?

Matt L.'s picture
Matt L. from Texas is reading Tenth of December: Stories February 12, 2013 - 12:01pm

I lean toward music without lyrics when writing. A few of my go tos:

  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Soundtrack, The Social Network Soundtrack, The Book of Eli Soundtrack, etc.)
  • Kodomo - Still Life, Frozen in Motion [sort of an atmospheric techno]
  • Trentmoller [simliar to Kodomo]
  • The Vitamin String Quartet
Tyler Runde's picture
Tyler Runde from Teutopolis, IL. is reading Unnatural Creatures February 12, 2013 - 12:17pm

I don't always listen to music while I'm writing. When I do, though, I normally just put on Pandora Radio where I only have one station that I've tried to make a diverse as possible. Sometimes it plays blues rock or love ballads or folk songs. Pandora seems to do a pretty good job of grouping like songs together to build a certain kind of atmosphere.

Michael.Eric.Snyder's picture
Michael.Eric.Snyder February 12, 2013 - 12:19pm


White Noise for Babies

I guess I'm a big baby.

Now, what I would prefer to listen to when writing is something altogether different. Even classical music, though, proves too much of a distraction for me.

The white noise is almost meditative.

Carly Berg's picture
Carly Berg from USA is reading Story Prompts That Work by Carly Berg is now available at Amazon February 12, 2013 - 12:26pm

I get into a kind of meditative state to write and music gets me there. But it has to be the right song, which changes. I flip around to different songs until the right one hits, then play it over and over again until my story is finished.


Devon Robbins's picture
Devon Robbins from Utah is reading The Least Of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones February 12, 2013 - 12:30pm

The soundtrack to the novel I'm working on has been the Old Wounds record by Young Widows. When the tone mellows out, I've been listening to GlassJaw's Coloring Book EP.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig February 12, 2013 - 12:35pm

It depends on my mood. For years I used to always write to Angels and Airwaves. Their music has sort of a cinematic quality with lots of rises and falls that I can really dig into while writing. I kind of burned myself out on their music though, as they were SUCH a part of my writing routine.

These days I listen to a lot of Amanda Palmer while writing (her latest, Theatre Is Evil, and also Who Killed Amanda Palmer). There tends to be a heavy emotional weight to her music and I like getting into that kind of "mood" when I am writing. I've also been digging writing to Phil Jourdan's band, Paris and The Hiltons. The music is awesome for when you want something cool but need to tune the lyrics out, but when you stop to take a breather the lyrics are amazing, too.

Regardless of mood or story, my fallback is The Smiths. Just damn good music to write to. I know all the songs well enough that I don't get distracted by "my favortie Smiths song, EVAR!" being on, but I do love the hell out of that band.

Sometimes, though, I just go back to my roots and blast something like Social Distortion or some crazy hyper kinetic ska.

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts February 12, 2013 - 2:39pm

It changes for every story, it seems. I think there is a difference between "inspiration music" and "writing music" though. For inspiration, I think I've come up with at least a dozen stories while listening to Sun Kil Moon, same with Wipers. Kate Bush also, and any old 80s goth rock, are on a lot when I'm brainstorming ideas. I used to use Morphine (the band) a lot in that manner, Cop Shoot Cop, Mia Doi Todd, Harry Nilsson; those are my creativity go-tos.

When writing I either listen to old music, typically from the 80s (post-punk or rap) that I've heard over and over, or new music (trap music, juke, outrun) usually single songs that I heard recently that I can't get out of my head. I don't know if this practice counteracts the nostalgia or not, but new music just has a good rhythm to write to anyway, whether it's rap or metal or pop or ambient drone. I prefer music with lyrics and a beat. The only genre I don't like to have on when writing is country, it just demands too much attention, whether it's the kind of country music I like or not.

JEFFREY GRANT BARR from Central OR is reading Nothing but fucking Shakespeare, for the rest of my life February 12, 2013 - 3:23pm

Last night I sat down and wrote a flash story that took me exactly as long to write as it took me to listen to Obie Trice's 'Cheers' record in its entirety. No idea why, though I do like that album. It just felt right man!*


*waves arms mystically

Lately I've been listening to The Zolas a lot while writing short stories, and Parkway Drive and/or Between the Buried and Me when I'm working on my novel (it has lots of fighting and blood and fucking, so maybe that has something to do with it).

Ahti Ahde's picture
Ahti Ahde from Helsinki, Finland is reading Horns by Joe Hill February 12, 2013 - 4:34pm

For me, it changes for every scene I write. I use music to enforce sustaining certain emotion, which I consider important for writing the scene. Then I rewrite the scene with a different song in eternal loop, just to find a different perspective.

When I just need to be creative, write reviews or do something not-that-intensive-writing I might be listening the "top tracks"-playlist of some artist no one know from the YouTube, which (the artists) I have discovered from the Web-radio stations of Live365.com.

I used to be musician before starting to write, so this is very obvious tool for me. Currently listening to Tripping Daisy Top Tracks playlist.

For example this song, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEzo3ZT_9UM&list=AL94UKMTqg-9D4pN4QFePRp4... gives me strong feeling about writing something a bit twisted, where two threads of story progress, one with naivety, one with fast paced destruction. Though, for that, I might just rip the song so that I would only repeat the intro.

Yes! I even use sections of songs on repeat :D

Wonder Woman's picture
Wonder Woman from RI is reading 20th Century Ghosts February 12, 2013 - 8:41pm

Great question! For me it really depends on what I'm writing and the sort of mood it sets. Sometimes it's the Coraline soundtrack and other times it's Conan the Barbarian or Vince Guaraldi tunes or maybe just a Pandora station of vintage Hawaiian music or Honky Tonk. 

I wrote a story for WAR 2 about a man coming to terms with being a new Dad and all I listened to was Rockabye Baby lullabyes. It helped set the tone and get me into the character's shoes a bit. 

Gonna go check out your compilation now. Thanks for sharing!

big_old_dave's picture
big_old_dave from Watford, about 20 miles outside London, Uk February 13, 2013 - 6:55am

I always go for music without lyrics to get in an attmpt to get my mojo working - post rock really

mogwai, hammock, the american dollar, as i watch you from afar.

That kind of stuff really!

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. February 13, 2013 - 10:36am

For me, Tom Waits has been a huge influence and I've though of a quite a few stories while listening to him, but I don't seem to write to any music.  I usually have the TV on, but I don't pay attention to it, either.