Music + writing: My playlist is a broken record…

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



Imogen Heap – HIDE AND SEEK

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

The following two tabs change content below.
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.

This article has 4 Comments

Comments are closed.