Music is very important to me when I write.
It blocks out external sounds, improving my focus, and it inspires me too. Because of this effect, I find that listening to music when I’m adding chapters to my novel is incredibly important. But hearing the same song over and over doesn’t do it for me, either.
Also, I tend struggle with songs that have lyrics, because I find (especially rock or metal), listening to the lyrics throws me off my game. But over the years, I’ve found a few ways to get my hands on awesome music (for free). Using these tools, I build myself a writing playlist that I can play when I’m writing.
Below are some of my recommendations.
SoundCloud Writing Playlist
This is my first choice for finding music. In the beginning it’s quite difficult, because unless you know the names of certain artists you’re going t be stuck listening to the kind of music that plays on the radio. Not good at all, especially if you’re looking for something without lyrics.
But here are a few artists to get you started, along with the type of music you can expect to hear from them:
- Microcosmos (Ambience and Chillout)
- Tiesto (Trance, House, Club)
- Dutty Moonshine (Vintage Swing)
- Infected Mushroom (Psytrance)
- Final Fantasy (Epic, Cinematic)
- Lulu Rouge (Downtempo Electronica)
Now that you’ve started following these and similar artists, it’s time to start building a writing playlist for yourself. This is especially important because there’s new music on SoundCloud all the time, so trying to find music that you liked in a stream that get’s updated every minute becomes difficult.
I’ve created a few playlists and have included some below, so if you like them,simply log into SoundCloud, refresh this page, and then like these playlists. they’ll end up in your profile under “playlists” and you can listen to them at anytime.
Another form of music I really enjoy listening to while writing is focus music. Head over to Focus @ Will and sign up for a free account. Once you’ve done that, you simply choose the type of music you’d like to listen to, the level of energy you need and hit play.
I highly recommend the “ambient” and under the “Labs” section, the Cafe Creative. With Cafe Creative, i usually have SoundCloud music playing in the background, and then the focus Music on soft (this is recommended by Focus @ Will), and the two together form a very cohesive background that provides incredible focus!
If you write for more than one genre (and even if you don’t), I find that creating project specific playlists for your individual books is an amazing way to get into the mood of whatever you’re writing. For example, I have two future projects that are completely different to anything I’ve written so far: a horror and a supernatural-style comedy. Both of these require completely different types of music, and I’ve already begun building appropriate playlists for both.
Now, when I begin plotting, I’ll have the perfect musical score to help my muse get in the mood. As an example, here is the playlist for my upcoming project, Hellhound:
This is another social media channel to find music on, but I find the videos a bit distracting. You also don’t have much control over what plays next, so it’s a bit of a gamble. Use in a pinch.
I hope this helps you get some creative focus and makes finding music for your next writing project easier! Share your playilsts here, I’d love t hear them!
*Special mention*Thanks to Christopher (@ChrisGoesAFK) from New York for recommending some awesome music from PC games such as Silent Hill, Tombraider, and others. Some of the playlists I mentioned above were created from his recommendations.
Ronel van Tonder
Ronel van Tonder is a science fiction author from South Africa. Having recently completed her dark, dystopian sci-fi trilogy, The Corrupted SUN Script, she's hard at work penning a new standalone sci-fi novel, The Seventh Glitch. When she's not writing, Ronel spends her free time slaying rendered baddies in the form of robots, gangsters and aliens - with any weapon that happens to be at hand.