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Does Music Soothe the Writing Soul?

Yes and no. Sometimes music can be a distraction, while other times it can be a funnel of inspiration. For me, when writing a fight scene and I’m trying to find a fluidity to my character’s fighting stance and movements, I’m going to create a playlist that’s aggressive and edgy. If I’m looking for something playful and fun, I might dig up some jazzy jazz or upbeat instrumental tunes, maybe even hip hop or pop. Embracing my inner emotions to write a scene requires music that is slow and pulls at the heartstrings. The sadder and more powerful, the better.

Music is magical and can help paint vivid scenes in writers’ minds. The hardest part will be discovering which music works best? Believe it or not, music is not a one sound fits all. It’s individualized. It’s personal. Music should not be overwhelming and distract from your writing. The catchy tunes are not helping a story emerge onto paper if the writer is spending more time dancing and singing than writing. I’ve experienced this a time or two, and when this happens, a change in musical inspiration is necessary. But do take the time to enjoy the music and dance first. Writing should give you pleasure. Sometimes these little musical distractions can help overcome writer's block, so embrace the song, dance if you must, and then get back to the story.

Remember, music is subjective to the listener and no author can agree which style of music is the best. Find what works for you and create a playlist around that. Each story is different and most likely so will your musical choices. Create a playlist based on each story and which mood you’re trying to inspire. I personally prefer music without words or foreign language music. Try a few different styles to see which one meets your writing needs: Ambient noise, instrumental, jazz/classical, techno/electronic, folk, pop, hard rock, movie soundtracks, foreign, etc.

While music doesn’t tell you how to write, music can certainly guide a writer and create powerful emotions that help foster pictures in your mind that can inspire you with what to write. Enjoy the musical journey and happy writing!

Here’s an article to check out:

The Best Music for Writing: 32 Playlists for Inspiration & Focus

By Tucker Max, author and co-founder of Scribe

What styles of music inspire you and where are the best places to find new music to add to your list?


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