What Music Inspires Me To Write

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I frequently get asked, “Do you listen to music when you write?”, “What type of music do you listen to?”, and “What music inspires you to write?”, so I thought I would turn this into a blog post. 🙂

I usually do not listen to music when I write. I need it dead silent, and in fact, have often used my husband’s noise cancelling headphones to achieve such quiet. But on occasion, I do break the norm, I find myself listening to whatever genre fits that scene at that time. Am I inspired by music, yes. Some scenes are created around songs, or tidbits of it added in. I think music touches people in so many different ways. To attach an emotion to it, sometimes I like to give that feeling to my characters.

Drops of Rain. This book has the most influence of music. I wrote the song titles into this story, and let the feel of them bleed onto the pages. Most of these songs I think can be felt with the words sung, and then others were on the radio at the time of writing this story and I loved them too. The two songs that inspired me the most in this playlist are: Say Something and Feels like Rain. I have lost one parent, and although everyone grieves differently, when Ali danced to Say Something and broke down on the floor and cried, I cried with her. Even now, as I just turned on the song it takes me right back to that scene and my heart aches for her. Feels like Rain, this song is just so soulful, it’s the perfect end to this story. In my mind, I can picture them dancing together watching the sunrise to this song. Spotify Playlist.

  • Closer – Tegan and Sara
  • Do I Wanna Know – Arctic Monkeys
  • Paradise – Coldplay
  • XO – Beyonce
  • Say Something – A Great Big World
  • TKO – Justin Timberlake
  • Don’t Happen Twice – Kenny Chesney
  • May Night, Op. 27, No 3:Dragonfly – Selim Palmgren Debussey
  • Cruise – Florida Georgia Line
  • Shot Me Down – David Guetta
  • Explosions – Ellie Goulding
  • Waves – Robin Schulz
  • 19 You and Me – Dan + Shay
  • Tiny Dancer – Elton John
  • Feels Like Rain – John Hiatt

Starless Nights, in this story I didn’t add the music in (and I haven’t since). Maybe my writing is evolving, or maybe it was just meant to be that way for Drops of Rain. But I can tell you, some of these songs are so perfect for Beau and Leila that I want to wrap my arms around both of them and hug them tight. Chandelier inspired the bar full of chandeliers after Leila’s show, and I listened to a lot of Modern Symphony. Spotify Playlist.

  • Lost Stars – Adam Levine
  • Holding onto Heaven – Foxes
  • Stars – Grace Potter
  • Over You – Ingid Michaleson
  • Stay with Me – Sam Smith
  • Chandelier – Sia
  • New York City – Lenny Kravitz
  • When the Stars Go Blue – Tim McGraw
  • Without Words – Josh Vietti Modern Symphony
  • Love Someone – Jason Marz
  • How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding
  • Fly Me to the Moon – Frank Sinatra
  • Doesn’t Mean Goodbye – Jon McLaughlin
  • All of the Stars – Trep
  • First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes

The Unforgettable Sun playlist I love, but I didn’t connect with it as much as I did the other two. Yes, I think a lot of these songs tie in perfectly with story, but I didn’t draw emotion from them like before. The most meaningful song of the list would be Try by Colbie Caillat. I even had a reader reach out to me and mention this song and how perfect it is for Elle (Thanks Lexi!) Spotify Playlist.

  • I See Fire – Ed Sheeran
  • Heart’s on fire – Passenger
  • Sittin on the Dock of the Bay – Sara Bareilles
  • Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  • Play it Again – Luke Bryan
  • Doubt – Kele
  • A Guy Walks into a Bar – Tyler Farr
  • Thunder Clatter – Wild Cub
  • 10,000 Summers – No Devotion
  • Shut up and Dance – Walk the Moon
  • Say you love me – Jessie Ware
  • Real Love – Clean Bandit
  • Wait – M83
  • Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
  • Bright – Echosmith
  • Try – Colbie Caillat
  • On the Coast of Somewhere Beautiful – Kenney Chesney
  • Be as You Are – Kenny Chesney
  • No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems – Kenny Chesney

Blue Horizons doesn’t have a playlist. And here’s why – this story is about two musicians. In my mind, as I was creating them, he sings country music and I describe her as classical pop. Think Taylor Swift with a classical flare. It was hard for me to attach songs to them, because they wouldn’t have been their songs. They write their own music, and don’t cover other people’s, so in my head the music would have been original and unique. Part of this story I wrote in London, and the other part I wrote back home last fall just before the boys went back to school. Chaos was life then, so the headphones were used frequently and I listened only to Kenny Chesney. Not sure why, but it worked.

Songs do inspire me, and they do make me feel. Without them I can’t even imagine how different my stories would be. xo

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