Writing to Music

Posted on February 15th 2015 ⋄ By Sara Cleveland ⋄ Category: Writing

Often as I listen to the radio I hear songs that inspire me to write. And I don’t mean a little. I mean so bad my fingers itch to get to a keyboard or pencil. Sometimes its that I want to take the song’s story and expand it. I meet characters in my head that are screaming “this song is summing up my story, but I need you to tell the rest of it!” Usually nothing ever comes of this urge. The song ends, the magic fades away, and the characters go back to sleep in the back of my mind.

Oddly enough, even though I put in headphones and crank the tunes when I write its really more for the sake of tuning out what’s going on around me. You know, the other patrons at the coffee-house or my husband and his anime (seriously, what is that even about?). But when I’m really in the zone with my writing I don’t even notice what’s playing. Seriously. Sometimes I’ll come out of it and realize the CD must be on repeat because I swear its the fifth time I’ve heard Chainsaw since sitting down at the computer (I like Pioneer better, but I couldn’t find an official video for that one. On a side note, I’m glad to see that the Chainsaw video actually has chainsaws in it, haha).

As I’m really starting to get into the work on Courting the Dragon (besides the half a chapter I wrote in December/January), I’ve decided that I’m going to make a conscious effort to pick music that fits the mood of what I’m writing. There’s just something very jarring about coming out of a serious, sad scene and realizing freaking Day Drinking is playing on the radio.

So, as I’m wrapping up chapter 2 of CTD (not as funny as the last book’s acronym, is it?) here’s my playlist in no particular order:

  • Bryan Adams – “Everything I Do (I Do It For You)”
  • Bon Jovi – “It’s Hard (Letting You Go)”
  • Adele – “Someone Like You”
  • Kellie Pickler – “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You?”
  • Faith Hill – “Like We Never Loved At All”
  • Dolly Parton – “I Will Always Love You”
  • Bon Jovi – “Hallalujah”
  • Jana Kramer – “Whiskey”
  • Kenny Chesney – “Better as a Memory”
  • REO Speedwagon – “I Don’t Want to Lose You”

Anyone who knows me well should be happy to see that Bon Jovi is only on the list twice and only five of the songs qualify for the country genre. However, anyone can clearly see that this is not a happy list at all for the first two chapters. So, this is my promise: I promise that as I move into later chapters I’ll get some more upbeat stuff on the list, though some of this will definitely stay on the list for a little while longer yet.

If you are a writer, what’s some of your favorite music to write to? Or if you’re not a writer, what songs move you the most? Discuss in the comments. Don’t be shy!

- ♥ -

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