Mood Music

Music is a daily part of my life. I kinda can’t live without it.

I’m one of these weirdos that likes all kinds of music. Turn my iPod on shuffle, and you’re likely to hear Coldplay, Adele, Taylor Swift, Sting, Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Journey, soundtracks from Wicked, Glee, and The Sound of Music, or maybe a little Justin Beiber, Kris Allen, Lifehouse, OneRepublic, Parachute, Kari Jobe, Florence + the Machine, Celine Dion, and The Wiggles. Yes, I can rock out to The Wiggles if need be.

I have quite the large and eclectic collection. I like all types of music except heavy metal and hard-core rap.

As a rule, I don’t usually buy an album unless I’ve heard at least two or three songs off of it that I like.

And because of iTunes and other means of music purchasing, we connoisseurs of music no longer have to purchase an entire album– just the songs we like.

I’m one of these writers that cannot write without music. Cannot.

Music puts me into the “mood” of my story.

For example, I’ve been editing a manuscript that’s rather deep and dark, so my tunes have been Plumb, Evanesence, Within Temptation, and We Are the Fallen. Deep, heavy, “emo” music.

And when I was working on a historical recently, I listened to the Pride & Prejudice soundtrack quite a bit.

When I need happy, I pull out Abba. When I need romantic heartbreak or “moody blues,” I’m into SnowPatrol, Verdera, Sarah McLachlan and Coldplay.

Music inspires me. It helps me to “feel” happy, sad, depressed, scared, angry or romantic; whatever the need may be.  It creates a mood, especially when I happen to be feeling something else entirely on a particular day.

I often hear a song and get a story idea, or sometimes I hear one and think, “that will go perfectly with this scene I’m writing.” I did that recently with a song from JJ Heller. A great, happy, upbeat romantic song perfect for a budding relationship.

So, from all of that, each of my manuscripts has its own soundtrack.

Sometimes I think my life has a soundtrack. Hopefully it doesn’t have as much “emo” music as does the soundtrack for the manuscript I’ve been editing. Ha.

This is an example of a great song that helped inspire the plot in a novel I’m currently working on. The song is called Until You Came Along by JJ Heller. 

Share with Me: Do you listen to music daily? Does music affect your mood? Writers–do you write to music? Do you prefer music with or without lyrics? Is there a particular song that has inspired you?


Filed under Writing

6 responses to “Mood Music

  1. I listen to music every day in my office. I work at a university where my office is nestled between two others without much sound protection between the walls and on a highly travelled hallway. I have discovered the website Pandora has the ability to select songs like an artist or specific song and create a "station." I currently have several stations to jump through depending on how I'm feeling. Like you, I am an eclectic listener. James Taylor, Andrew Loyd Webber, and a song "Witch of the Westmoreland" are my top picks for the right now. The music helps block the hallway noise and give me a way to cut through the occasional periods of silence that are deafening. Lori Dilworth

  2. So funny that you wrote this today. Yesterday I was sitting at a stop light and listening to a song on the radio and had the random thought that I can't imagine life without music. I'm one of those people, like you it seems, that music is more than sound. I go to church and can get a full sermon just from the music. I listen to the notes and words so carefully so as to absorb every moment of it. I also listen to a wide variety from Poison to Etta James to Kenny G to Hank Williams, Sr. to Michael McDonald to Casting Crowns to Mandisa to 70's disco to old school rap to Broadway hits. I'm not particular to one type, I just like how it makes me feel. Music can take me back to old memories, it can bring me closer to God, it can find me living in a town I've imagined in my mind. The possibilities are endless. I keep music playing all day in the background when I'm at home. It gives me a peaceful feeling and blocks out stress. Maybe I'm a little music crazy but it has always been a part of my life. When I pick songs to sing, it has to mean something to me and not just be random. I did my homework when I was in school with music on and it helped me concentrate. I hope to carry on my love or maybe obsession with music to my children. 🙂

  3. Lauren, you and I are twins in this. Those are my thoughts exactly. 🙂

  4. I love listening to music when I write. More often than not I have my headphones connected to my computer while I'm on it. I'm tremendously eclectic, so I'm always listening to everything on shuffle too. Loved the post!

  5. I don't listen to music daily…how sad is that? I used to, when I commuted 25 minutes to and from work. But now that I don't drive in my car every day, I don't listen to music every day. This will have to change, because like you, music inspires me!

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