Hi everyone! I’m really sorry that it has been so long since I last did one of these, March and April were ridiculously busy for me, what with assignment due dates and exams for Uni, so I didn’t have time to sit down and write any long posts besides my discussion posts and reviews.
Today I’m going to be talking about something that is an integral part of my writing process: music. I know writers have different opinions on this, some can’t live without it, some prefer to work in silence, some like music with lyrics, some prefer scores, there are a wide variety of opinions out there about the role of music in the writing process. But I’m not going to talk about the merits of each option today, I’m going to talk about how music plays a role in my own writing process and give you guys a little inside look into my Writing Playlist.
For me personally, I can’t work without some form of background noise. It’s why I hate exams so much, I find the complete silence weirdly distracting! I do occasionally do my writing whilst watching TV or movies, but for the most part, I use the Writing Playlist that I have set up on my IPod. It gets me into the writing mindset, every time I turn it on, I know that for the next hour or so it’s time to write. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t occasionally flick back to Twitter and get distracted, but for the most part, when I turn on my writing playlist, I know that it’s time to settle down and concentrate on my writing.
When I first started writing This Is Not A Love Story, I used playlists from YouTube whilst I was writing, but I tended to listen to the same songs I had on my IPod anyway, so I decided to draw up a playlist on my IPod that I could just use every time I sat down to write. My writing playlists can be pretty easily broken down into six sections; Musical Soundtracks, Film Soundtracks, TV Soundtracks, Taylor Swift songs, Ed Sheeran songs, and other miscellaneous music, so for this post, I’m going to briefly explore each of these sections. I can’t go into too much depth, I have over 400 songs on my Writing Music playlist!
Honestly, a lot of these come under film soundtracks as well, but to make it easier, I will include all the ones that were originally musicals in this section (even if it is the film soundtrack that I have) and just put the ones that are only films in the next section.
- Hamilton: Original Broadway Cast Soundtrack
Of course Hamilton is on my Writing Playlist. Honestly, for most of second year after my friend Nicola introduced me to it, Hamilton was my study soundtrack as well! I wrote quite a bit of This Is Not A Love Story whilst listening to Hamilton on YouTube, so now that I have the full cast album, it’s on my Writing Playlist. There’s nothing that can pep you up to write better than listening to songs like “My Shot” and “Right Hand Man”!
- Wicked: Original Broadway Cast Soundtrack
I wrote a very memorable section of my first draft of TINALS whilst listening to Defying Gravity, it really was the perfect song to complement Adrianna and Avery riding a flaming dragon at full speed through underground tunnels. Seriously though, this soundtrack is just awesome and I find it so great to write to!
- Hairspray: 2007 Movie Cast Soundtrack
Hairspray is one of my favourite musicals, but I only actually got the chance to see it on stage last year, so the movie soundtrack is the one I have grown up on! I love this soundtrack, for the most part, it’s really upbeat and a lot of fun to write to.
- The Last Five Years Movie Soundtrack
Again, I saw the movie before I even knew that this one was a musical, so that’s the soundtrack that I have. Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan are both great and there’s so much variety in just the one soundtrack, no two songs sound the same and it’s great to have that kind of variety on my writing playlist because it means I can pick a song that suits the scene I’m writing that day.
- Mamma Mia: Original West End Soundtrack
I added this to my IPod after I went to the show last August, I love Mamma Mia the movie, but the stage show was just amazing, and had the added bonus that I could have the soundtrack a) without having to buy it on ITunes as my family already had the CD and b) without Pierce Brosnan’s singing!
- Chicago Movie Soundtrack
I only have a couple of the songs, but I am hoping to get more, I feel like my main character Tiffany and Roxie Hart would probably be friends!
- Moulin Rouge
Of course I have my favourite movie soundtrack on my writing playlist. I don’t actually own all the songs from the soundtrack yet, but I will, so far I just have my favourite ones.
- The Greatest Showman
This soundtrack is just AH-MAZING and is so great for getting me pepped up and in the mood to write!
- Country Strong
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this often before, but I do quite like country music, and so the soundtrack from this country music drama is perfect for me to write to.
- Assorted Disney music
I don’t really have any one single album from a Disney movie, I have various different songs from various different movies. The Lion King and The Lion King 2 soundtracks are big features, I have several songs from both the live action and animated Beauty and The Beast movies. I have the best songs from Mulan (I’ll Make A Man Out of You, great for fight scenes) and Reflection. I have my favourite song from Hercules (I Won’t Say I’m In Love) and Let It Go from Frozen. That’s all for now, but I’m sure I’ll be adding more Disney songs in the future.
- Nashville Cast soundtrack
Again, I’m not sure how much I’ve mentioned it here, but I’m a big fan of the TV show Nashville, and a lot of their music has made its way onto my Writing playlist. I don’t have any songs from Season 6 yet, they’re not available on UK ITunes (I don’t think) but I have all my favourites from 1-5.
- Glee Cast soundtrack
I have less of these than I used to, because I’m not as big of a Glee fan as I was a few years ago, but despite the show being over, I do still like to listen to some of their songs from time to time.
Taylor Swift music
- I have all six of Taylor Swift’s studio albums, plus a couple of songs that she’s done for movie soundtracks and of course they are all on my Writing Playlist, because there’s nothing like listening to one of your favourite artists to get you in the mood for writing.
Ed Sheeran music
- I have all of the music from his last two albums on my writing playlist, most of Ed Sheeran’s music is quite relaxing which makes it good to write to and the more fast paced ones are good for giving me energy when I’ve been writing for a while!
- Lucy Hale’s album Road Between
I was a massive fan of Pretty Little Liars, so naturally when Lucy Hale released an album, I bought it straight away. I wasn’t expecting much, but it’s actually become one of my favourites, I have songs from it on both my Writing Playlist and my Running Playlist.
- Kelly Clarkson
I love Kelly Clarkson’s music, so of course I have a few of her songs on my Writing Playlist, bangers like Since U Been Gone for more fast paced scenes and emotional ones like Because of You for more sad scenes.
Like many people who were young in the 00’s, I really loved McFly, so for the sake of nostalgia and because they have some really great tunes, I have a few of their songs on my writing playlist.
I have some of Queen’s greatest hits on my Writing Playlist, Bohemian Rhapsody, Don’t Stop Me Now, We Will Rock You, Somebody To Love. I would like to have more when I can afford to buy new music as I love Queen!
- Colbie Caillat
I really love Colbie Caillat’s music, she has some great tunes and the ones I have are all quite relaxing, which help me get into the right mindset for writing.
- Christina Aguilera
Fighter was basically made for writing fight scenes!
- Christina Perri
Human, A Thousand Years, Miles and Jar of Hearts are all lovely songs that I just like to listen to when I’m writing. Say Something, her song with A Great Big World is also beautiful and perfect for emotional scenes.
- Sara Barielles
Sara Barielles’ music is just beautiful and great for when I need to write a more emotional scene.
I do have various other random songs from different artists on my Writing Playlist, but this is already quite a long post, so I’ll stop there! I hope this has given you at least a little insight into my taste in music and my writing process.
Over to you! Do you use music to help in your writing process? Or do you prefer to write in silence? What kind of music do you like to use? Let me know in the comments!
I don’t know when I’ll next have one of these for you, hopefully next month, I think I’ll be talking in a little more depth about my novel, This Is Not A Love Story, as I’m editing it right now. If you’re a writer and would like to contribute to this feature then you can contact me on Twitter, @iloveheartlandX.
I will have my latest review for you soon and my latest Top Ten Tuesday post up tomorrow, so keep your eyes out for those!