“Whistle While You Work:” Music and Writing Go Hand in Hand
“Whistle While You Work:” Music and Writing Go Hand in Hand

By, Megan Standley


What else besides food and coffee goes along with writing? Music, of course! While it may surprise you, music and writing correspond with each other. A musician must write musical numbers if there is to be a song and a lyricist must write words to match.

Of course, not everyone knows what type of music to listen to when they write. However, it can be as simple as listening to a favorite song or type of music. There are all sorts of genres: Rock, Metal, pop, alternative, and rap, to name a few. You can listen to personal favorites, have a friend give you suggestions, or ask someone you’re sitting next to in a subway train or a bench at your local park their favorite artists or song.

"Hey Arnold" GIF

Not only will music get you in the mood for writing that story you’ve been wanting to write, but it will also stimulate the creative part of your brain to create a wonderful world for your character to thrive and explore. Just imagine that dramatic track as the theme music for your character as they go on that marvelous adventure that may or may not kill him/her! Thrilling, right?

When I listen to music (which is a lot), I like to take the first five minutes to just close my eyes and listen. Usually I can come up with plenty of ideas for writing. My recent story is called ‘Project Starfish’ (funny title, I know), and most songs I’ve listened while writing that come from rock, pop and alternative genres.

Think of music as a portal to the inner creativity of your mind, with your favorite song as the key required to enter. What that portal looks like is up to you. It can be confusing and silly (some of the best ones are), but what matters is your ideas that you come up with while listening to music. Classical music, from my experience, stimulates a serious story with romance and war and a good main character. Modern music, also from my experience, stimulates a fun story that can have romance and war but also creates better side characters. In the future, I might try listening to both classical and modern music so I can make good main characters and side characters simultaneously.

When you go home tonight from either work, school, or both, just take the time to really listen to your favorite song and let that left side of your brain take over. Don’t worry about tomorrow or deadlines just yet; for five minutes or so, listen to that song and your creative side will craft a brilliant idea for a wonderful story.




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