I’d be a better writer if I listened to better music.

I think my work as a writer suffers due to my lack of taste in music.

I'm not being self-deprecating, it's true. I mostly listened to Gospel music growing up (not always by choice) and as I've never been a die-hard fan of any music artists (except for Alicia Keys and I was recently re-inducted into the Beyhive. But that's another story) I don't really follow the music scene. Therefore, I listen to whatever's popular.

So my taste in music has always been questionable.

It's not that music isn't important to me. I sang in choirs in high school and won a couple of vocal competitions. I played the trombone and clarinet and was in the marching band. I studied musical theatre. I'm obsessed with Broadway songs! I love music. But I would never volunteer to share my Spotify playlist at parties or on car rides because I know - I know - ain't nobody gon' like my mishmash of eclectic tunes.

There's literally no organization to my playlists. It randomly ranges from Nina Simone's "Ne me quit de pas" to Beyonce's "Rocket" with anything from Katy Perry, Cold Play, The Chainsmokers and Shawn Mendes in between.

My taste in music is all over the place.

And I think my writing suffers because of it.

Lemme explain.

I was up late one night doing some writing. Well trying to but, of course, I was having trouble. I'd put Spotify on 'Discover Weekly' and this song comes on...and all of a sudden I can't move. I'm frozen - like, no joke, my body randomly went into rigormortis. It was as if the song had put some kind of spell on me. It felt like actual sound waves were physically coming out of the speakers and wrapping around my body, holding me in place.

I literally wasn't able to move until the song ended.

When the last strains of the guitar faded out I opened up the Spotify window and looked up the song, intending to save it to my library. The artist was Bibi Bourelly and the song was called "Poet." Bibi's voice is "hauntingly beautiful," but it was the lyrics that really had me transfixed.

"You're like a poet

and every time you say my name

it sounds like the ocean.

Lost in the middle

you're like a riddle

and when I look inside your eyes

you make me feel so little."

Something about these lyrics really got my creative juices flowing and suddenly the words I'd been grasping for came to me in a rush.

I was able to write.

Like, that song seriously unlocked something in me using the key hidden under the matt, came inside, fixed itself a sandwich and curled up on the couch to watch Wendy Williams. The song got under my skin is what I'm trying to say. 

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It's not the first time something like this has happened but it's been awhile. Music doesn't usually have this kind of effect on me. Normally, if I like a tune I'll nod my head to the beat, maybe dance a little. If it's a Nicki Minaj song, I'll memorize the lyrics and dress up as Nicki for Halloween. If it's anything from "Lemonade" I'll do a parody of the song for Youtube. If it's Taylor Swift I'll turn it off.

 

That's about the extent of my reactions to music.

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But every once in awhile I'll get lucky and come upon a song that seduces me, gets under my skin, makes me really explore my thoughts and access my emotions.

It's nice when that happens. I'd like it to happen more often. Maybe it could if I listened to better music. In fact, I'm going to make an effort to seek out new music by artists I don't know very well and see if I can get an inspiration fix on a regular basis. Check out this playlist I put together for Writing Inspiration. Let me know if you like any of the songs.

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"Poet" is 5th on the list. Have you heard of this artist or song? What do you think of it? Am I hyping it up too much?

Ciao for now,

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17 thoughts on “I’d be a better writer if I listened to better music.”

  1. I love music so much. I literally have music going on in my head 24 hours a day. It’s what inspires my writing and really my life. You’re writing is already great. Continue to find more great songs and it will send you over the top.

    1. Thank you so much! Yes I will continue to find great music/songs. I’ve already added a few new tracks to the Writing Inspiration playlist.

  2. This is very interesting. I grew up with music. I love music and probably can’t live without it. But, I never considered how it was impacting my ability to create in other areas. I consider myself “acreative” around artistic and aesthetic pursuits. What’s funny is as much as I like all forms of music, I really only listen to about 3 genres.

  3. Music is my life, without sounding too dramatic haha. You say, “I know – ain’t nobody gon’ like my mishmash of eclectic tunes.” – I WOULD! My tastes are so varied it goes from heavy metal to high school music soundtrack. It’s the best way to be in my opinion. Keep being eclectic and keep discovering new stuff, music should be an adventure! Loved this post x

    1. I can’t recall if I responded to this but reading it again has got me totally inspired again! Thank you for this comment. And you’re absolutely right, Music should be an adventure!

  4. I love music. I am always listening to music, especially because we don’t want our son to watch tv (he is only 4 months). But I think it doesn’t matter what you listen to as long as you like it. At least that is my opinion.

  5. My taste is music is what you could call “eclectic” and often I don’t listen to music when I write…it’s just not a muse for me. However if I put on some true crime shows or podcasts the fingers will dance across the keyboard.

  6. Music has such a powerful way of connecting to moments in our lives that we hold dear. When I hear certain songs, waves of emotion come over me. Sometimes in the form of chills or even tears!

    1. So true! I don’t listen to a lot of rap or rock – I feel like I should. If you ever have any song recommendations please share!

  7. Haha I laughed a lot when I saw your heading and so can relate. While I must admit that I have never heard of this artiste I will sure go have a listen to it. Looking forward to your next post.

    1. LOL thank you! I’m already adding new songs/artists to the playlist. I hope you like it. Thanks for reading!

  8. My kinda music has to really affect me then, my all time fav is Eminem hahahhahahaha and then dance like David Guetta, Tiesto …I wonder if I could do an experiment and see if my writing style changes when I listen to diff types of music??? That would be soo much fun!

    1. I definitely recommend experimenting. I’ve noticed a difference in the flow of my writing since switching from my usual pop soundtracks to other genres.

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