Music and Writing

So why does music help me as a writer? I don’t have any cool sciencey answers for you but I can take a wild stab at why it works for me, personally. Basically, music has been in my life since before I was even born. My mother is a huge fan of music so in the womb, I was listening to her favorite rock gods–The Rolling Stones was the most notable for me, as they’re still one of my favorites today.

As a kid, I remember receiving a tiny pink handheld radio from my grandmother for a gift. I can’t remember if it was for my birthday or Christmas or whatever but I remember that I went everywhere with that thing. When I went to bed at night, I would hang it on my bedpost from its little pink wrist strap. I barely even remember the kind of music I listened to. A weird mix of korean pop, Michael Jackson, Elton John, and of course, my mom’s rock dudes.

I also wrote a lot as a young kid, although most of my tales were copying my own favorite stories, with my own spin on them. I remember hiding my tales from the adults but my mother and grandmother found one story at one time. One notable story from my younger years involved Floppy, my old stuffed dog, who accompanied me on many adventures. I even took him away with me to a show and tell at school! (And I still have him to this day.)

The two combined and now I love to write while listening to music. The music comes in many varieties. A favorite would be music without lyrics from various soundtracks, from movies to video games. There are also groups, like Two Steps From Hell, that make a lot of inspiring music without lyrics. These are great mood makers. Then there are angry rock songs for angry scenes and gentle love songs for romantic scenes. And there are soul crushing emo songs for sad moments. I listen to so many different genres of music that it really helps in the writing process.

I also tend to create soundtracks for characters. I have playlists for specific characters that I write the most. These lists grow the more I write with them and even now, songs associated with older characters still remind me of those characters!

I think music tends to color my writing and inspires the scene. So that’s why I write while listening to music.

Rachel Aseltine

R.A. Aseltine is an author and roleplayer living in California with her husband, guinea pig, and five cats.

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