My Music Playlists

I get a lot of questions about what kind of music I listen to when I write. The truth is, it varies. A lot. I’m one of those people who is kind of obsessed with music and I like all kinds of genres and artists. So what I listen to is usually just dependant on whatever I’m in the mood for at the moment. Sometimes I’m really mellow, and all I want to do is listen to whiny singer-songwriters mope about their depressing love lives and other times I’m in an upbeat Hall-and-Oats-“Making-My-Dreams-Come-True” kind of mood. It just depends.

That being said, I’m a little more predictable when it comes to my writing. I do tend to listen to the same songs over and over again when I write scenes. I make playlists, actually. I have my mellow, semi-sad, very chill playlist that I listen to 75% of the time. This playlist is perfect for when the mood of my story is sad, tender, thoughtful, or just mellow and slow. With “Interrupted”, I feel like that was the mood for most of the story. With “Chasing Jupiter”, things were a little more upbeat, for the most part, and I played a lot of my second playlist, which is full of peppy, retro songs. The second playlist is what I tend to turn on when I’m writing something fun and nostalgic and I really want a great throw-back to the 50’s. Since every book I’ve worked on so far took place between the 30’s and the 60’s, this playlist has mostly retro and vintage tracks on it.

So I thought I’d share with you below my two contrasting playlists, and you could check them out. Feel free to put them on a playlist of your own and listen to them when you write. I really don’t mind!


Playlist #1ย 

Mood: Sad, Sentimental, Sweet

Consists of: Mostly Singer-Songwriter Covers

1. Moon River – The Honey Trees

2. True Colors – Eva Cassidy

3. Your Song – Ellie Goulding

4. Edelweiss – The Honey Trees

5. I Want to Hold Your Hand – T.V. Carpio

6. Time After Time – Eva Cassidy

7. When You Say Nothing at All – Alison Krauss

8. Sara Smile – Bird and the Bee

9. Safe and Sound – Taylor Swift

10. Laughing With – Regina Spektor


Playlist #2ย 

Mood: Retro, Upbeat, Nostalgic

Consists of: Mostly Hits From the 40’s and 50’s

1. Teenager in Love – Dion and the Belmonts

2. All I Have to Do is Dream – Everly Brothers

3. In the Mood – Glenn Miller Band

4. My Boyfriend’s Back – The Angels

5. Why Do Fools Fall in Love – Frankie Lymon

6. Little Darlin’ – The Diamonds

7. Cheek to Cheek – Fred Astaire

8. You’re Sixteen, You’re Beautiful (And You’re Mine) – Ringo Starr

9. Earth Angel – The Penguins

10. Taking a Chance on Love – Benny Goodman


What do you listen to when you write?


P.S. I just want to make clear that none of these songs are “Christian” music. However, I feel comfortable listening to every one of them and I don’t feel that there is anything inappropriate in any ofย the actual songs that I need to warn you about. You can make the choice of whether or not to listen to any of them–all I’m doing is sharing what I listen to when I write.

Image via weheartit.com


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  1. * kford2007 says:

    I LOVE your playlists! I love all those songs.

    My playlist changes when I write, too. Most of the time, because I write fantasy, I listen to a lot of classical and Celtic instrumental.

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 12 months ago
  2. * Emily Ann says:

    Love this! I have Moon River and Edelweiss on my playlist as well. Thanks for the suggestions! Helen Jane Long and Brian Crain have some really amazing music that I listen to a lot when I write. But it really varies for me. =)

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 12 months ago
  3. * Beth says:

    Very cool! Definitely something I could use for mine. I just recently started listening to more epic stuff since I’m writing a fantasy. A lot of people said Two Steps From Hell which is actually pretty awesome. The name put me off at first til I found out what it was about. I use Pandora to pick a certain group, and then similar songs play. ๐Ÿ™‚

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 12 months ago
  4. * Skye says:

    I will totally check some of these songs out. The only one I reconize is Taylor Swift lol. I listen to all kinds of music when I write, I even listen to rap ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Most of the music I listen to is Christain, but there are lots of non Christain songs that I like. My top favorite artists are Toby Mac, KJ-52, Lifehouse, the Fray, F.M Static, and Hawk Nelson.

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 12 months ago
  5. Ah, many of those song brought back memories.

    I don’t listen to music too much when I write. But when I wrote the climax of my last manuscript, I listened to Farewell, by Apocalyptica over and over. It fit the scene so well. I had it blaring in my headphones and I sat there crying and crying as my heroine faced the most heart-wrenching decision.

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 12 months ago
  6. * Katelyn S. says:

    My playlists change depending on the mood i’m in; I actually have 7 playlists to listen to. And cds. When I’m in a contemplating mood, I listen to instrumentals. When I’m in a singing mood, I listen to soundtracks and sing along. Then there’s my Phantom of the Opera playlist , because that’s one of my favorites. And there’s my praise list, devoted to worship songs. And then there’s my just listening list, full of songs that really have no purpose other than I like to listen to them.

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 12 months ago
  7. * Jenna K. says:

    A lot of times it’s soundtracks, but sometimes I’ll put in some christian music… =D

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 12 months ago
  8. * Hannah says:

    I definitely like listening to soundtracks when I write. My favorites I’ve found so far are: Lord of the Rings (Duh! ;)), Prince Caspian, Pirates of the Caribbean. I also love picking certain songs for certain characters. I get soo excited when I hear one that just fits a character PERFECTLY. ๐Ÿ™‚

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 7 months ago

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