The Hows and Whys of A Writing Playlist

I. Love. Music.

I would be a super sad person without it. Even though my house is always super loud, there’s always music playing.

Music is a must when I’m writing, too.

Think about it! Movies wouldn’t be the same without the music in the background, subtly (or not so subtly) telling you how to feel about a particular scene.

A writing playlist can totally help you get into your novel.  Let’s make one!

And of course we’re using YouTube. :D


What genre are you writing?

Find music for that genre! There is an endless number of “atmospheric fantasy” playlists. Soundtracks from certain genres of movies or video games. Use as many of them as you want. Find tracks that inspire you.


Find some mood music, too!

Ask yourself:  What kind of scene am I writing?

You can structure your playlist to play out like your novel does, following the ups and downs of your story. Or you can make individual playlists for certain types of scenes.


Find something you won’t get too distracted by

Ask yourself:  Do I get too caught up in this song?

I love a good guitar solo, beautiful lyrics, and all the rest…but it’s best to keep that music on a different playlist. You’ll have to find a balance between music that you love and music that will take a back seat to the writing going on. It’s a difficult balance…and not one I’ve totally mastered yet, but it’s important all the same.


Don’t be afraid of a song—heck, an entire genre—not fitting in.  There’s another type of writing playlist that I haven’t mentioned at all.

It’s a playlist full of just…music. Anything that will let you drown out the world around you.

During NaNoWriMo, while writing my fantasy novel, I listened exclusively to Pink Floyd.
They’re my go-to, I never get tired of them, and…well, that’s about it, really.
Did it fit the genre I was writing? No.
But I also just had it on to drown out everything else around me. (And I found the trippy feel of a lot of the tracks to be oddly fitting for my main character, so…that’s cool!)


Your writing playlist doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you.
It can be as random as mine.

You can go from classical music to heavy metal if it still fits with a “vibe” you want your novel (or part of it!) to have.

Music is a super personal thing. And so is writing!


Do you have a writing playlist? Has this inspired you to make one?

I'd love to hear about it!