Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Muse Worthy Music

Concerning overcoming mental block, there are multiple strategies.  Some writers like to travel, or read, or look at art, or switch to another task altogether.  Me, personally?  I like to listen to music.

Just like a change of scenery or inspiring art, new music also gets my “brain juices” flowing.   Yet, it has a uniquely delightful upside.  Unlike any of these other strategies, listening to music does not demand that one stops writing.  Traveling may be inspiring, but it is often difficult to write while doing so. The same goes for reading or viewing art or switching tasks.  They are all very helpful, but they do take time away from writing. This is why I like music.

Generally, I find that instrumental music is the most conducive to writing.  I find that, personally, if I am listening to a song with words, I find myself focusing on those words rather than on the ones I should be writing.  But then again, I know writers who prefer to listen to rap while working.

There are some very excellent sites that allow you to listen to music for free.  

Spotify is excellent.  It is like iTunes, but infinitely better.  Why? Because it is completely free. It’s also easy and very safe. You merely sign up and download Spotify on your computer. Then, you can listen to literally millions of songs.  You can even save your favorite songs and turn them into playlists so that you can listen to them whenever you wish.  Below is a playlist that I’ve created.  It contains tracks by some of my favorite instrumentalists, and it is a sampling of what I listen to while writing.  If you click the play button, you should be able to listen to it too.

Pandora is also great if you want to listen to new music without having to make decisions.  It is a form of internet radio.  You can choose what genre of music you wish to hear or even enter the name of a favorite artist or band and Pandora will begin playing similar songs.  You can make “stations,” which will always play songs from whatever genre you have chosen. You can learn more here.

And, lastly, SoundCloud is wonderful.  It is somewhat similar to Spotify, but it also contains tracks from a wide variety of less well-known musicians.  It’s a great way to discover new talent.

 Between these three sites, you're sure to find an endless source of inspiring music to feed your muse. 


Hannah Lokos is a writer, full-time college student, and an avid lover of music. Her novel, a unique piece of historical fiction that combines romance with Greek mythology and conspiracy theory, is scheduled for release by Champagne Book Group in early December.  Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or visit her website at


Big Mike said...

You'll think I'm nutd but when I get story jammed, I lat=y down, cover my eyes, run background noise like a rainstorm and let the brain wonder. Works every time.

Ref when I write, I do Pandora and Sky.FM. The latter has a better selection IMO, but Pandora has better reception on my Iphone.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Annabel Aidan said...

I completely agree -- if I'm writing, it has to be instrumental.

I can always tell if someone's written to a soundtrack of another artist's vision, because it bleeds into the work.

I have an app called "Nature Space" that I used a lot when I lived in NYC -- it has woodsy noise, beach noise, river noise.

Now that I live on Cape Cod, I just take a walk on the actual beach or go to the Audubon Sanctuary, but when I lived in the city, the app was a saviour!

TKToppin said...

Agreed. Writing music for me has to be instrumental. When I'm editing the work, silence.