There’s no denying that music and writing are intrinsically linked. I have always found it to be the truth, anyway. My favourite way to write is to be at the computer with my headphones, jamming to a good tune whilst my fingers are on the keys. I edit in silence, but in that first stage of getting a draft onto paper, the closer I am to a concert, the better.
These are some of the songs that I listen to on a regular basis, and which have got me writing in the past.
Monday – ‘Take it Back’ – Pink Floyd (The Division Bell)
It never hurts to start with something impressive, does it? I owe the better part of my music taste to my father, who has been playing the same fourteen CDs since I was sitting on a booster seat. This song is my favourite Pink Floyd song, mostly because of the opening, which hums inside my chest and brings tears to my eyes. A good one for writing about valour, I think.
Tuesday – ‘Genesis’ – Grimes (Visions)
I think this is a good song for journeys. Like most of Grimes’ songs, this one has a pale, haunting quality that plays with the quiet corners of my mind. Listening to it, I always seem to dredge up a new idea for something. Other good ones are ‘REALiTi’ and ‘Flesh without Blood.’
Wednesday – ‘Lost Stars’ – Keira Knightly (from the film Begin Again)
This is a song for feeling good, and a recent addition to my list of go-to inspirations. I watched Begin Again on a particularly bad day, and the soundtrack inspired me to write myself a story so that I would feel better. My reputation as a writer during university was never one of tenderness, but I find this song is a good one for writing soft scenes.
Thursday – ‘Run-Time’ – Imogen Heap (Sparks)
A bittersweet song for endings and being free. I find that this song has a sci-fi vibe, but for more general writing the energetic mood and uplifting vibe are useful muses. Fun fact: I listened to this song before initiating my very sedate first break-up, so it always reminds me of being young and feeling needlessly dramatic.
Friday – ‘Midnight City’ – M83
For futuristic cities, epic prologues, and action scenes. This is a song for feeling inspired and capable. It always makes me think of motorbikes for some reason, and has played in the background during some of my most productive writing sessions. The M83 soundtrack from the film Oblivion is also well worth listening to.
Saturday – ‘One Last Wish’ – composed by James Horner (from the film Casper)
An instrumental piece, and one for doomed lovers, moonlight meetings, and (surprisingly) ghosts. This is the only piece of music I have ever liked enough to try learning. Several unsuccessful months later I abandoned my efforts. Now I use it to write about things that I think are sad and beautiful.
Sunday – ‘Cloud Atlas Finale’ – composed by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek & Reinhold Heil (from the film Cloud Atlas)
This song ruins me, so it makes for a fitting end to the week. This film in general is definitely one that changed me as a writer. I came out of the cinema not just in tears, but sobbing for the next half hour because it was so beautiful. I don’t often listen to this song because I don’t want to let its meaning fade through overexposure, but when I do it makes me want to write, and write well, so that someday, maybe, I’ll write something of equal power.