Finding inspiration in music

Yesterday I went to see Baby Driver in the cinema (no spoilers, I swear) and the soundtrack had me thinking about the music I listen to when I’m writing.

I’m a CD kind of girl. I like being able to physically see the music I own and I don’t have the space or money to be into vinyl or anything like that (I also don’t really have the space for a lot of CD’s which is why I have to really consider what I buy but I am great at finding bargains). So, I definitely have albums and tracks that I listen to more than others. My mp4 player gets used more when I’m travelling than anything else but sitting down to write at the computer gets a little difficult without having my headphones plugged in because I get distracted. I can’t remember the last time I ever tried to put together something resembling an actual playlist. I’m just as happy listening to jazz as I am listening to folk or rock.

There are tracks that I’ll hear and they’ll sometimes inspire a piece of writing.

Occasionally, listening to an instrumental piece is the only way to go because it is likely to provide fewer distractions. My first creative writing assignment at university was written in one hour while I was listening to Beethoven’s diabelli variations. I’d been reading City Of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte at the time. The actual book wasn’t what I’d originally expected after borrowing it from the library but it was clever. I found the classical music pieces mentioned interesting enough to look up, partly because they weren’t the obvious choices which was good. The diabelli variations were the perfect length for me to write a long piece and it was new enough to me that any minor distractions were less interesting so I kept my focus.

I’ve always liked books that mention music. I own a copy of a book from when I was about fourteen called Audrey, Wait! that is all about a girl who has a hit song written about her and then her life is heavily affected by the sudden public interest. There’s a lot of bands mentioned in the book as well as general references to the music industry. When I bought it, by the end of the year it looked practically second hand because I’d read it so many times.

I know that some authors share about their playlists after they’ve written a particular book and I’ve found some great band recommendations thanks to this kind of sharing. Author’s blogs are a great place to look for this sort of thing.

Finding new songs/albums can go a long way to kick starting the inspiration process if I’m struggling for new ideas and at the moment the albums I seem to have been listening to the most are:

Astoria by Marianas Trench
Death Of A Bachelor by Panic! At The Disco

As for music that’ll inspire my next piece of writing, well, I think I’m in the mood to hear something eclectic and new to me. Looking up the tracks on the soundtrack for Baby Driver might be the next good place to start with.



Also, I was in York at the weekend and found this collection of stories for a great price.


I’ve read Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series as well as different works such as, And Another Thing… which was his contribution to the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy series by the amazing Douglas Adams so, I’m very familiar with Colfer’s work. I think that it’ll be interesting to see the kind of stories that he’s collected from other Irish authors and the illustrations by P. J. Lynch look wonderfully detailed.


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