Seven Playlists for Your Next Writing Project

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January 2, 2019

As a writer, I find that words distract me. What? 

Yes. I’m easily distracted by words. If there’s a TV on, I’m subconsciously listening. If there’s a conversation going on, I can’t not hear it. And, of course, if a song has words, my mind is following (and maybe singing) them. I’m on a quest to devour as many words as possible, and I can’t save me from me.

That’s why I listen to instrumental music when I write (which is like, a lot). So I’ve compiled my most-frequented playlists and albums.

These will all be Spotify playlists/artists (sorry, Apple Music peeps). We all have to pick a side at some point.

Deep Focus by Spotify

I consider this my go-to writing playlist. I recommend it to everyone. It’s a safe bet, no matter what you’re writing (because mood and tone matter, sometimes!). It’s generally upbeat and got good vibes. Also,  probably the most popular instrumental playlist on Spotify and amongst people I have this conversation with.

Ludovico Einaudi

Ludovico Einaudi is my best friend’s favorite pianist (who knew people had those?). So, kudos to her for turning me onto him. If you’re looking for something more relaxed and occasionally melancholy, this is the way to go.

And if you know how to pronounce his name… shoot me an email with the phonetics, please.

Vitamin String Quartet

Vitamin String Quartet covers anything from today’s hits to bad 90’s rock to good 80’s rock to film soundtracks (you get the picture).

I had an internal struggle of whether I should include the Blink-182 playlist, Harry Potter playlist or “Blood Curdling Screams!: VSQ Pays Tribute to Horror Classics.” Ultimately, this Nightmare Before Christmas playlist is the one I actually listen to the most.

Hanjo Gäbler

I actually discovered this guy while searching for music for a video project. There’s A LOT of diversity to his music, and it’s not all up my alley. But, when I’m feeling particularly spicy or want to add an extra pep in my writing step, I listen to this Spanish Summer playlist.

dark instrumental writing music by spookyclouds

Kudos to my best friend, again. We have often (inconveniently) sought out YouTube playlists for this kind of thing. Then, one day, I saw her listening to this on Spotify. We both just find this contemplative, somber tone to be very soothing. I listen to this playlist the most—there’s something about the pacing and mellowness that brings my high-strung thought process to balance.

Chuck Johnson

I am entirely stealing—err, borrowing—this recommendation from Matt Kelley. “Balsams” is a thoughtful, calm, 40-minute stripped-down album when you just need a little tickle in your ear to spark your writing. Thanks, MK.

I like to play this one on repeat. His other albums are worth checking out, though.

Quiet Hours by Spotify

Downtempo beats and ambient soundscapes (so says Spotify) with subtle hints of R&B. Anyone else get that? Just me? Okay.

Obviously, what I fancy as far as music goes may not sit well with you. Some people really like Spotify’s Brain Food playlist, but electronic music makes me anxious (weird, right?). And sometimes, I just need some White Noise and the comforting pressure of my headphones on my ears.

There are tons more playlists and artists out there creating great writing music (whether they intend it for that or not). Browse, listen and share your findings!

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