Strange music for inspiration, maybe, but it works.

Every writer goes through that horrible stage of writer’s block in which you can’t come up with ANYTHING to write, or you’re stuck on one particular scene or character that just won’t come out right. Most of us go through it multiple times, actually, and it’s frustrating when you can’t get ideas no matter how long you stare at that blank sheet of paper. If you’re like me, you’ll turn to something to give you inspiration. Some people go to books, movies, art, or nature. When my well of creativity is running dry, I turn to music. I have a large playlist that I’ll listen through until it gives me motivation and ideas. Sometimes, I just listen to those songs to understand how to write a particular scene or convey a certain emotion. This list comprises a lot of different songs by different artists, spanning a wide variety of moods. A song that inspires me one day will give me nothing the next time I listen, but there’s so many songs on the list that I can usually find something to get me writing again. Today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite “Inspirational songs” with you, along with a brief explanation of how they work. Maybe some of these will work for you when you need them. Anyway, enjoy!

“I Will Not Bow” -Breaking Benjamin. This is the first song I go to when I’m writing anything involving a post-apocalyptic

I don’t like all of her music, but she does have some great songs.

scenario or a last stand. The lyrics are about surviving, and it just seems to fit.

“Safe and Sound” -Taylor Swift and the Civil Wars. This is my jack-of-all-trades song, so to speak. It’s inspired a bunch of different things, from poetry to nostalgic trips down memory lane to stories of love and loss. The song itself becomes a soundtrack in my head when I’m writing the story. Beautiful and quite powerful.

“Footloose” -Blake Shelton. A very fun, energetic song. The usual effect is to get me motivated again when I’m tired of whatever project I’ve been working on. It also keeps me working when I’m in the middle of a story.

“Amazed” -Lonestar. Love song with a classic, country feel to it. I go to this song right away when I have to write a romantic scene and have no idea what I should write.

“You Give Love a Bad Name” -Bon Jovi. This is my go-to song for when I need to write about bitterness after a betrayal, whether it be in the context of a romantic relationship, one between friends, or one within the bonds of family.

“Bring Me to Life” -Evanescence. This song, along with “Frozen” by Within Temptation,  are usually my inspiration for poetry or a scene with a depressed person in it. Listening to these songs helps me remember how it feels to be depressed, and allows me to write authentically.

“Crazy Train” -Ozzy Osbourne. There’s just something about this song that gets me excited. It pumps up my energy and gets me writing when I might not feel like it. Also, it’s suitable background music for the numerous stories I write about psychopaths and other crazies (Tobias can vouch for that).

“Dark Side” -Kelly Clarkson. Gorgeous song. It generally serves to keep me from getting frustrated when people don’t understand what I’ve written, and also helps me keep writing.

“Heartbreak Hotel” -Elvis. For some reason, this particular song puts me in an old fashioned mood. I tend to write more “period” pieces after listening to this song. What’s weird is that most of them are set pre-1900.

“Bourne Vivaldi” -The Piano Guys. This piece of instrumental music always gets me in an epic frame of mind. It usually inspires sci-fi or fantasy tales that require a great deal of work.

Well, there you have 10 of my favorite pieces of  “inspiration music.” Do y’all listen to any particular songs to help you write?

3 thoughts on “Musical Inspiration

  1. Yay! A real person who listens to Within Temptation! I was beginning to think I was the only one. I use their music for inspiration and helping me get into the right mood for scenes all the time.

    I like listening to songs in languages I can’t understand, especially if it has a specific attitude or mood. It’s easy to fill in all the blank words with meaning and characters, and ideas.

    1. I have about 15 Within Temptation songs on my inspiration playlist. They have such a wide variety of music that I’m pretty sure I could find a song for each of my writing needs.

      I like your idea of listening to music in different languages. I’m particularly fond of songs sung in Icelandic or Gaelic. They’re very inspiring.

      1. Those are the languages of most of the songs that I use as well, though I also like Latin and sometimes Russian.

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