Community Voice: How Music Influences the Writing Process
Loud Coffee Press believes that many writers find music to be deeply affecting, whether it be on the artist’s overall process, finding a true voice, or acting as a conduit for words to page. We reached out to writers within our community and asked them how music influences their creativity. Here’s what they had to say.
"I've found punk and its DIY zeitgeist attitude to largely influence my perspective on publishing work." - Glen Binger
"I’ve found punk and its DIY zeitgeist attitude to largely influence my perspective on publishing work. While it certainly helped to shape my worldview and my voice as an author, I've found it to moreso build up my confidence and courage to self-publish. Sure, I've submitted and had work accepted in the traditional venues, but there's always something more intrinsically satisfying in crafting a piece EXACTLY the way you want it. Letting your truest voice stand behind your words is nearly impossible with an editor, an agent, and a publisher. They ultimately need to shape the work to fit their end goal, too, and sometimes those two things don't always align."
"...the words haunt me. I hear them in every poem I write." -Bonnie Lee
"When I lost my younger son to suicide, there was a tight ring of frozen numbness that didn’t allow me to breathe deeply, but it did keep the pain away. My physical therapist said my grief was collecting in my connective tissue and I had to let it go. She asked me if there was a song that I listened to that made me sad.
I told her that there was a song from the 70’s, Child Song. As she worked on me, she asked me about the words.
'…I can’t live without your fears, ma. I love you. But that hasn’t helped at all. Each of us must do the things that matter. But, I must find my own road not to follow…'
I began to cry. Her hands moved methodically and I began to sob and breathe.
And feel. To this day, the words haunt me. I hear them in every poem I write. It is the music that fuels my creativity. And I am grateful."
"...music creates creativity and without it I would have nothing." - Mark Vernon
"For me, music plays a prominent part in my creative process and without it I would be truly lost. Both of my books not only containing lots of music references but are also heavily influenced by a large variety of artists. Sometimes it only takes a word or line to send me off, but I generally find the tune or melody is what influences me the most. As a young teen finding his way in the world I would often fill journals with lyrics, giving my own take on a what a certain song meant to me and how it made me feel. I took this and ran with it many years later, as during the writing of my first book particularly I would often have one song repeating over and over again to put me in a certain mindset to write. To sum it up: music creates creativity and without it I would have nothing."
"The music we listen to shapes who we are..." - Dianna Davies
"I (have) reflected on all the music that was important to me during my life and how connected my taste in music is to my writing style. The music we listen to shapes who we are, so it has to influence our creative voice, even if we are unaware of it."
"Music helps me capture those emotional moments..." - D. Allyson Howlett
"I am an aspiring writer, and when I write, nothing gets my creative juices flowing more than listening to some killer tunes. Music not only helps me relax and get into the writing flow, but it puts me in the shoes of my characters; seeing the world I've created for them through their eyes. Music helps me capture those emotional moments, giving me the words I need to set my story in motion and really create something amazing."
-D. Allyson Howlett
"...it can help the mind work out buried mysteries..." - W. Scott
"Instrumentals are an emotional gift. They are musical moods without lyrics that, I’ve found, can help the writer convey certain instinctive feelings. As humans, we are by nature emotional beings, especially writers. When a writer is able to listen to the marriage of certain instruments, it can help the mind work out buried mysteries that the mind may not have been able to put into words at first."
"...once [music] flows through me, the words flow, too." - EG Tudor
"Music is both transforming and transporting, if I want to write a certain feeling, emotion or scene I will put on an appropriate playlist. It immediately puts me in the right mindset and off I go into a world of words. The power of music is undeniable and once it flows through me, the words flow, too."
"Any good song will leave an image in your head... I want my story to do the same." - PW Stephens
"Music to me sets a vision for a scene. My entire book series is based on 'Where I’ve Been' by Rival Sons. The concept came from one line, 'How could you love me/ when you know where I’ve been…'
Any good song will leave an image in your head of the story it is trying to tell. I want my story to do the same. I want you to hear what I’m writing and see it because of that."
-PW Stephens, author of The Rise and Fall of Jacob Brooking (Book one of The Broken Pebbles Series; The Psychosis of Alice Petalow due out on January 14, 2020 and Love and the Oubliette due out on February 14, 2020)
"The playlists I made give the story arcs for each book." - Tam DeRudder Jackson
"Songs by Shinedown, Theory of a Deadman, Godsmack, and Papa Roach inspired each of the novels in a rock and roll romance series I’m currently writing. The playlists I made give the story arcs for each book. Listening to those playlists helps me stay on track as I write and revise.
While I was writing the paranormal romance series I’ll start publishing in January 2020, I listened to Celtic strings by Lindsey Stirling and Natalie McMaster to put me and keep me in a Celtic state of mind. Music is essential to my creative process."
-Tam DeRudder Jackson, author of Talisman, book one of the Talisman series, due out in January 2020