Supporting Artists

Imagine: you’re at home, you’ve finished the laundry teetering in the baskets, swept the floor, and your children (if you have them) are playing, happy, and quiet. (If they’re quiet, go check them. Now. You’ll thank me later.)

Congratulations! You’ve found a chunk of time to write. You sit down, power up your laptop, and… nothing. The house is too quiet, or too loud, or the incessant dripping from the kitchen faucet makes it difficult to think. You need music. Through a non-scientific experiment of my own, I’ve built a list of composers and artists that keep me writing.

I have a few requirements for music to make my list. First of all, it can’t have words. If it does, I’ll end up humming it all day and my writing will suck. (Or suck more than it already does.) Even if it’s an instrumental version of Adele’s Hello, it’ll distract me. Secondly, it has to fit the genre or scene. If I’m writing a love scene, I don’t want to listen to The Imperial March.

Pull up some of these on Pandora and see if they work for you on your next WIP.

  1. Anything by John Williams (Indiana Jones series, Jurassic Park, Star Wars series, and many others) Something about this man’s music makes me type faster, and the scenes unspool in my head in an epic rush. I’ll admit, though, I haven’t tried writing to Jaws. Just sayin’.
  2. Some of Hans Zimmer’s scores. I like all of the Pirates of the Carribean series and a few tracks on the Inception soundtrack are good. (I’m planning on using Dream is Collapsing for my future WIP’s dark moment.)
  3. Anything instrumental by Lindsey Stirling. The girl with her violin is gold.
  4. Vivaldi is good for just about any genre. His concertos known as The Four Seasons are my favorite.
  5. Warcraft II (the video game) I wrote the battle scene for Spark while listening to it. Again, something about those selections had me writing faster. Some writers claim any video game music will work because it’s designed to allow the gamer to focus on another task other than the music itself.
  6. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves I found this on Pandora one day, and I’m now convinced my current WIP would be an awesome movie. The tracks will give you “delusions of grandeur,” I promise, which is not a bad thing. You have characters who are doing their own thing, a sagging story arc, fantastic plot points that now seem stupid… Any bolstering, real or otherwise, is sometimes needed.

We’re an eclectic household. My two daughters listen to pop music when they write and do homework—I don’t know how they do it. My husband listens to electronica while working. I listen to primarily instrumental music on Pandora. This article from Huffington Post also has some interesting facts about music and creativity. Do you have favorites that inspire you? Comment below and share what music you’ve been listening to.


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