On Writing With Music

Lots of people have quirks with their writing. Some people can only write in certain places. Some need absolute silence. Others prefer to work with music. I have many friends who prefer to write longhand, and many more who type their drafts but can only edit in hard copy.

For me it’s somewhere in between, but I do tend to default to music when I write. In fact, I tend to create a playlist specific to each book. The playlist doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the book whatsoever, but the simple act of having a playlist, songs associated with the work, helps me get into the creative space of the book quickly and with a minimum of fuss.

Curious about what I was listening to when I composed Sanctuary? Here’s a glimpse of some of my playlist highlights:

Disclosure: You & Me

Youngblood Hawke: We Come Running

Metric: Breathing Underwater

Radha from Student of the Year

Daft Punk: Get Lucky

As you can see I’m all over the place musically, from Bollywood to pop. After a while, though, I do start to associate aspects of certain songs with the writing. I wanted to include a few quotes from the band Metric in my finished draft, but that didn’t work out. The original quote I associated with Sanctuary, though, was from the song Help I’m Alive:

I tremble
They’re gonna eat me alive
If I stumble
They’re gonna eat me alive
Can you hear my heart
Beating like a hammer
Beating like a hammer

Help I’m alive
My heart keeps beating like a hammer

I have lyrics, also from Metric, I associate with the sequel too. Curious to see more and get a sneak peek of my work in progress? Check out this month’s newsletter for the details!

Write on!