Musical Muse


What do you listen to while you write?

Are you a sound track kind of fellow? Or do you rock it oldie style? Does what your writing change your music preference, or is it strictly your own mood thing?

For me, it depends on what I’m writing. When I’m writing something with my character Gabriel, I have a specific playlist. It changes, sometimes, depending on the nature of the piece, but it’s usually a collection of the same bands and a few key songs. Other stories are inspired by a certain song, so I stick that song – and maybe a few other similar tracks – on repeat, maybe for hours at a time. Sounds irritating? If I’m lucky, I sink so far in to the ‘writing world’ I don’t really hear the music. It becomes background noise. Headphones are a must for me, especially when in a crowded room. No earbuds for me, though. Do they bother anyone else? I’ll stick to something that doesn’t fall out of my ears every five minutes …..


Some people partake in what is referred to as a ‘100 Theme Challenge’. I’m doing something similar, but instead of words or particular, specific themes I’m taking a 100 songs and coming up with something inspired by the rhythm and lyrics. That doesn’t mean you have to make up a story modeled specifically after the song. I listen to a lot of Christian Rock – bands like Skillet, Thousand Foot Krutch, and Lifehouse – and sometimes derive major horror pieces from them. (Then again, with Skillet, that doesn’t seem surprising)

Your challenge is to take your list of top ten favorite songs and write or draw something for each one. Poetry, short story, hell model a chapter of your novel after it. A haiku. Anything. If you complete the challenge, let me know! There is no limit to what you can do with this. So go for it!

My Top Ten:

1. Violet Hill by Coldplay

2. The Joke by Lifehouse

3. Running Up That Hill by Placebo/Kate Bush

4. Lose Urself by Family Force Five

5. The Wolf by Fever Ray

6. Faith by Taking Back Sunday

7. You & Me by Dave Matthews Band

8. In One Ear by Cage the Elephant

9. Swing Life Away by Rise Against

10. The Kill (Bury Me) by 30 Seconds to Mars

These aren’t necessarily my top ten favorite songs, but they are some of my favorites to write to. If you have any music suggestions for me, let me know. I listen to a variety. So drop it!

Thanks for reading,



About marlesque

Horror/suspense writer. Student of Dramatic Arts, 2nd year.
This entry was posted in Music, Tips, Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Musical Muse

  1. Até says:

    I can’t listen to music while I write / read =( I used to be able to, but now I find it discomforting.
    I do listen to music, however, when I go to bed. I have this weird problem – kind of like insomnia, because of which I do not get much sleep. So I play myself dolphin or whale music (sounds weird, I know) to sort of calm down and get some sleep.

    The challenge sounds interesting… I’m not sure if I can take it up though ^^; I was planning on taking up a book or anime challenge soon, incidentally.. so, .. hoping that’ll work out.


  2. iavorh says:

    I tend to listen to progressive rock (Porcupine tree, Anathema) and sometimes melodic death metal (Dark Tranquillity, Amorphis, Evergrey). If I’ve listened to too much of that recently I would switch to some rock or blues.

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