Music is massively underrated when it comes to writing.
The music you listen to, to get in the zone and enter flow states, changes your writing. A movie soundtrack vs. a hard rock song produces drastically different results.
In the future, people will pay a subscription to get access to a creative person’s music playlist. I’m giving away my playlist in my upcoming writing course, after curating it for the last six years.
If your writing is boring, change it with music.
The Danny Forrest Effect
(Everybody is adding the “effect” after a person’s name — shoot me.)
Danny — aka the forest of wisdom — sent me his music playlist for sh*ts and giggles. My mind was closed when he did. I thought I’d mastered the background music needed to be creative. I was wrong.
As a tall, skinny dude with a gentle taste in house music, Danny sent me hardcore death metal. Specifically, he sent me a track by Mors Principium called “Pure.”
I took the song for a test drive and put it on infinite repeat like a psycho.
The writing that followed was radically different. The song is fast. My mind races when I hear it. The writing that flows off my stick fingers is loaded with energy made better by death metal. My innocence was robbed; my soul turned black; my mind started having shock brainwaves.
Then it hit me:
What if the music you listened to while writing was a hidden differentiator that could take you to another dimension?
This is what Danny Boys’ song did for me. There was no time to doubt myself or question whether people would tear me down in the comments. I whacked the song on and let it take me places. I went up and back from love. I took a detour into a parallel universe. I entered the Matrix and popped back out again. Your mind on fast music is nuts.
But fast music is not everything. Slow music brings your brain back to reality, softly. I ended my writing session that day with a gentle movie soundtrack from the movie “American Beauty.” The words rhyme differently with that song. They gently flow off your tongue and onto the computer screen; the words are infinitely more empathetic with this song.
An Experiment To Make You a Creative Warrior
Have you ever sat back and noticed what different styles of music do to your creative time? It’s an experiment worth trying.
Depending on what you write, different styles of music can impact your writing in different ways.
- Write to movie soundtracks
- Write to death metal
- Write to rock
- Write to classical music
- Write to electronic music
- Write to the trance-like influence of Binaural Beats
Tally the results. What music was good for heartfelt essays? What music was good for data-driven, non-fiction blog posts? What music was good for writing self-improvement?
The music you listen to changes your focus. Music changes your emotions too. If you think you’ve become a parrot that repeats the same stuff over and over, then let different types of music interrupt your thought patterns and change how you write.
Music is a writing tool you can use to move people with your words.