muse · Sami Sapphire · tools · writing advice

Music To Write By

I tried, but I cannot write to music that features lyrics. Can’t do it.

One minute I’m typing away, giddy with excitement at the dialogue that flew from my fingers to a page…and the next I’m typing the song’s chorus. It’s like my subconscious brain absorbs the words I hear and then outputs them through my written word. Like word processing Mad Libs or something.

Consequently, I went in search of wordless music to write by. I’ve found some great stuff.

1. Pandora is a great option for free wordless music, even though commercials will occasionally derail an author’s train of thought. There are a few ‘stations’ that I love: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Radio is electronic and melodic. Lots of stuff from The Social Network movie. Film Scores Radio is a favorite and is self descriptive. Dramatic scores are great for those Big Scene moments. Two more I listen to less frequently are In A Silent Way (jazz) and Blues Radio.

2. Spotify – My household subscribes to Spotify, which is accessible by both PC and smartphone app.  Like a song on the radio? Search for it on Spotify and add it to your playlist. Listen to a new album by a favorite artist, or find music you remember from childhood. Unless you’re looking for Taylor Swift, it’s probably on Spotify. (She withdrew her music, citing lost earnings compared to traditional sales.) Since Spotify subscribers pay annually or monthly, there’s no additional charge for giving songs a spin, so to speak. (Remember records? Me neither.)
Spotify features a great playlist called Wordless Writing that includes everything from electronica to orchestra.

So that’s what I like. What music do you like to read to? Write to?

4 thoughts on “Music To Write By

  1. Great post! I can’t listen to lyrics and write either. I do keep playlists on Pandora and Spotify, and listen to them during other times of the day. This way, I might feel inspired for writing later. Thanks for the tip about Wordless Writing!

  2. I always write with music. I find that some of my best ideas are spawned by lyrics. This bunny has been hopping around in my hutch for a long time: What if a JFK Jr. clone runs a light in a podunk town, gets in an accident, and a pretty nurse helps him hide from the tabloids while recuperating? The story is a lot more in depth in my notes, but in essence was inspired by the Psychedelic Furs – The Ghost In You ” A man in my shoes runs a light, and all the papers lied tonight, but falling over you is the news of the day.”

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