I LOVE music, more than I love writing, but I’m too distracted by it to have it on while I write. When people say “I like listening to music,” they usually mean while doing something else. When I listen to music, I listen to music. I get too involved. I know, I’m weird. I’m a lyrics person, so I have to pay attention to what’s being said. Even if I’m listening to songs I know, I still can’t listen while writing, because I’ll just want to sing.
So most of the time, I write in silence. The voices of the characters are in my head of course (that’s normal, right?), but I don’t write with music. Usually.
However, I have several recommendations that I use when I’m feeling super focused. Maybe they’ll help you write the next bestseller.
To start off, take a minute and click here for a new tab/window, then come back and read the rest of this.
Assuming you followed directions and clicked that link, you’re now enjoying Rainy Mood. I think I first heard of this site in college, but I forgot about it until about a year ago. I find rain sounds relaxing and peaceful, the perfect mindset for writing. Some genres anyway. If you want to transcend space, use Rainy Mood in conjunction with the music of your choice. It’s an experience. But don’t expect to get much writing done if you do this. You’ll be far too relaxed to think or type.
I highly recommend Vitamin String Quartet. They cover well-known songs, but without those distracting words. I remember listening to them in college while studying for exams. Oh, the memories. They are amazingly talented. The most fun songs to listen to are the ones you wouldn’t think would ever work with strings, like “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore or “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars. You know, as I’m listening to these, I’m not getting much accomplished with this post. Maybe this isn’t the best suggestion after all. Go for some of the more mellow ones instead: “Thinking Out Loud”, “Stay With Me”
I first heard Rockfluence, an album of Scott D. Davis’ piano covers of rock songs, on Pandora. I love, love, love piano music, and these covers are fantastic. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is awesome. There are millions of piano covers on YouTube, but this album sticks out to me.
Speaking of piano music, if you’ve never heard George Winston, do yourself a favor and listen to him. I believe he is the best pianist around. I’ve seen him live, and he’s even better in person.“Longing” is particularly beautiful. If you’re into covers, he has an entire album of Doors songs.
Movie soundtracks are another option. These are all over YouTube and sometimes the entire album is posted in one video. Randomly enough, my favorite soundtrack is from Fluke, a movie from my childhood. This right here. Oh, the feels. Seriously, I need a minute. That scene. I can’t even. And this! (And there’s not a chance you have any idea what I’m talking about!) Runner up goes to Edward Scissorhands. You can’t go wrong with Danny Elfman.
For my final suggestion, try searching for instrumental versions of songs you like and keep them in a playlist. I am obsessed with instrumentals and have spent hours on YouTube searching for them. When you’re searching, make sure you add “Official” to your title to weed out some rather sucky attempts at the real thing. Some of my favorite instrumentals: “Kings and Queens” 30 Seconds to Mars, “Paranoid Android” Radiohead, “Everlong” Foo Fighters, “The Adventure” Angels and Airwaves, “Stylo” Gorillaz (their instrumentals are awesome), “Aerials” System of a Down, “Snuff” Slipknot, “So Cold” Breaking Benjamin (any BB instrumental really), “My Curse” Killswitch Engage, “Say It Ain’t So” Weezer, “The Walk” Imogen Heap, “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” Cage the Elephant, “Famous Last Words” My Chemical Romance, “Life is Beautiful” Sixx A.M., “Say You’ll Haunt Me” Stone Sour, “Is There Anybody Out There?” Pink Floyd, “Trippin on a Hole in a Paper Heart” Stone Temple Pilots, “Breathe Me” Sia. Sorry, I got a little carried away, especially after I opened with “I write in silence.” 🙂
Well, that should get you started! Did I open your eyes to a new artist? Did I help get the creative juices flowing? Have I missed a painfully obvious suggestion for this list?
Thanks for reading! Now click some of these links and get back to your manuscript!