Music + writing: My playlist is a broken record…

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image credit Creative Commons

This week on the Deb Ball we’re talking music, specifically what we listen to when we’re writing. I’m in the ‘need music to write’ camp … with one key stipulation: when I’m drafting, I listen to one song — and one song only – on repeat, sometimes for hours at a time.

Music helps me tune out distractions – it quiets the part of my brain that needs quieting so I can focus in on my writing, especially when I’m writing out and about. I like the visual white noise of a coffee shop, but if I forget headphones I’m useless – the constant chatter is so distracting, and I can’t help but eavesdrop (though on occasion this has provided me with some great character fodder).

When I choose a song to play on repeat for hours, I try to pick one that a) I love (you’d better love it if it plays for hours!), b) evokes an emotional response in me, c) and would be considered a ballad – like poetry set to music. And because the song repeats, I also don’t get distracted by a change in tempo as one song switches to another – something I’ve realized can pull me out of a great writing session.

So having said all of that, here’s my most recent playlist (in no particular order):

John Legend – ALL OF ME

Jason Mraz – I WON’T GIVE UP

Christina Perri – A THOUSAND YEARS  (This would be the theme song for COME AWAY WITH ME, based on how many plays it got…)

Jason Mraz & Christina Perri – HUMAN

Train – MARRY ME

Ron Pope – A DROP IN THE OCEAN *His voice is … sigh … amazing.

A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera – SAY SOMETHING

Ben Harper – BELOVED ONE

Jewel – HANDS

K.D. Lang – HALLELUJAH

Damien Rice – THE BLOWER’S DAUGHTER

Imogen Heap – HIDE AND SEEK

Do you listen to music when you write? What’s on your playlist?

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Karma Brown is the author of COME AWAY WITH ME (MIRA/Harlequin, September 2015), an emotional story of one woman’s discovery that life is still worth living, even if it’s not the life you planned. Karma is also a National Magazine award-winning journalist, and lives outside Toronto, Canada, with her family and their mischievous labradoodle puppy, Fred.

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