The BEFORE I GO Playlist

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This is the Alabama Shakes. Their music gives me all the feels.

This week on the Ball we’re talking about the music we listen to while writing. Mostly, I listen to silence. Or, you know, the whining of my children asking for more snacks, or iPad time or keeping me updated on their constructive disagreements: “Mommy, she hit me!” “He hit me first!” “WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” Obviously, this is all very conducive to the creative process.

However, there were a few times in the writing of BEFORE I GO that I needed to get into a certain emotional headspace. Sometimes to more intensely feel the love between Jack and Daisy, when I was writing their scenes together, and sometimes I needed to feel the significance and weight of what they stood to lose. And for that, I turned to music. Here is a playlist of some of the songs I listened to while writing (as well as some songs that I think would make for a great soundtrack to the movie — ARE YOU LISTENING, HOLLYWOOD??) These also happen to be some of my favorite songs. Ever.

1. Slow It Down, The Lumineers
2. ‘Til Kingdom Come, Coldplay
3. The Blower’s Daughter, Damien Rice
4. If I Should Fall Behind, Bruce Springsteen
5. Glasgow Love Theme, Craig Armstrong
6. You Ain’t Alone, Alabama Shakes
7. Jolene, Ray LaMontagne
8. Anna Begins, Counting Crows
9. Say Something, A Great Big World
10. I’ll Be Seeing You, Billie Holiday
11. Scars, James Bay (I just discovered this guy, but if I had known of him while writing BEFORE I GO, he would have been on heavy rotation. His voice is EVERYTHING.)
12. All I Want, Kodaline (This is another one I discovered after I finished the book, but it screams soundtrack to me. Love it.)

I also threw in some Mumford & Sons, Dave Matthews, and even a few instrumental tunes (I love listening to Andres Segovia play classical on his guitar). And there you have it.

What do you listen to when you write? Share some of your favorite artists/songs with me in the comments.

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Colleen Oakley is the author of BEFORE I GO (Simon & Schuster/Gallery, Jan. 2015), a love story. A former editor for Marie Claire and Women's Health & Fitness, she's now an Atlanta-based freelance writer. Find out more at colleenoakley.com.

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