A Writer’s Playlist

Bria’s voice rang out, the tone slightly off key. Just enough to make the ears of any innocent bystanders bleed. She danced in her chair, not at all worried when the legs bounced dangerously off the floor. Her cursor blinked at her, a menacing reminder that she is supposed to be writing. She ignored it, waving her arms in her air as she sang, revelling in the procrastination of her favourite song.

End Scene

In all fairness to me, that didn’t actually happen. What actually happened was I found myself staring at my computer and singing or typing out the lyrics to a song. Which is just proof to me that a good playlist is essential to a writer, especially during this challenging NaNoWriMo.

I don’t know about the rest of my fellow writers, but I have a very hard time focusing in a quiet atmosphere. At least at first. Once I’m immersed in a project, a marching band could pass right in front of me or the only sound could be crickets and I wouldn’t notice. So, until I get into that groove and for those moments when I am jolted out of the groove, I need music playing in the back ground.

This is my CD collection. It’s not so impressive…

First let me say, yes. I still own CDs. Second, I’ve got a wide selection of different genres from Michael Buble to Justin Timberlake and over to Staind. Now, usually I write because I’m inspired, so getting into that groove isn’t hard. But with NaNo, I’m forcing myself to write, so the groove is not coming as easily as I’d like.

As such, I’ve decided to post a review of a few of the CDs I’ve played. Which CD is the best for me, personally, and why. Hopefully this will help you and other writers in their quest to create the perfect playlist.

A Music Review of Sorts

Artist: Michael Buble
Albums: Self-titled & Call Me Irresponsible

(just so you know, I realize there’s an accent on the e in Buble, I just haven’t figured out how to create that particular accent on my laptop keyboard)

I put Michael’s CDs in first because I thought they would be great. I mean, easy listening, smooth beats, great voice, what could go wrong? Well, I found myself singing along to almost every song. It’s just so easy to do!

Artist: Linkin Park
Album: Reanimation

I used to listen to Linkin Park a lot in high school… more specifically in high school art classes, which were pretty much the only time of the day where it was acceptable for me to put my head phones on and ignore the world. So I guess it makes sense that listening to this CD while I wrote was pretty much perfect. I didn’t have to block the music out, I could let it take me where I wanted to go. Except one song. One song is really annoying. But it was only 2 minutes or so long, which is nothing when you’ve been writing for hours.

Artist: A Perfect Circle
Album: Thirteenth Step

I realize now that A Perfect Circle and Linkin Park are *kinda* in the same musical family…. That being said, I didn’t really write while I listened to it. The soft voice of whatshisface, the lead singer, is perfect for lulling me into that comfort zone that precedes the groove, but I have become what I like to call a compulsive editor – where I go back and reread what I did yesterday and change things that don’t sound great. I claim that it’s to see where I am in the story line, but really it’s because I have a problem. An editing problem. So that’s what I did while listening to A Perfect Circle.

Artist: Outkast
Album: The Love Below

Does anyone remember Outkast? Do they still make music? I could Google this but I’m too lazy. I decided to try something upbeat and pop-like for my next writing “sprint”.  It seems that this is good background music… except for the interludes where they have rather humorous dialogue.

Artist: Electric Six
Album: Senor Smoke

This guys are a bit eccentric. Their tune is funky with a bit of humour thrown in for fun. I like them, sometimes. It was actually a good writing CD because it was upbeat, but I didn’t know all of the words. There’s only one interlude that distracted me, mostly because it’s hilarious… Note to self, stop putting in CDs with funny spoken interludes.

Artist: Staind
Album: Break the Cycle

This is an album from my teenage angst days. It’s all angry and annoyed. It skipped a few times, which was inconvenient because I was in the middle of a word sprint and had to pause my timer to change the song. I did catch myself singing along, but these songs are so ingrained in my brain that I can sing along and still write. Overall a fairly good writing CD. Especially for tense, angry scenes.

Those are all the CDs I will review for today. My playlist for the rest of the day includes:

  • We Are Augustines, Rise Ye Sunken Ships – if you haven’t heard of them, you should check them out. I really enjoy their music and the lead singer has a very soothing voice
  • Gwen Stefani, The Sweet Escape – this is for some upbeat, pop-ish music. Shouldn’t always listen to mellow-y rock or that could bring you down.
  • Green Day, 21st Century Breakdown – because Green Day is awesome.
  • A bunch of others that I haven’t really decided on yet.
My Conclusion

There are two types of music I would suggest to writers. The music for when you’re inspired and the music for those tough times when writing akin to pulling teeth.

Inspired Put on an album that you love, that you can tune out when you’re in your groove but that will keep you motivated and happy.

Pulling Teeth Put on an album with no words or with words you don’t know. This will reduce the desire to sing along and keep you from dancing in your seat to a song you particularly love.

And that, my friends, concludes this review of a Writer’s Playlist. I hope it was helpful!

What music inspires you? What is your current writing playlist – share! 

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2 responses to “A Writer’s Playlist

  1. While writing, i always know what i’m going to write and how im going to write. While writing particularly intense scenes, i prefer songs with amazing lyrics or instrumental tracks, keeps the focus going on and sometimes provides me with completely new ideas on how to write the scene!

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