It is hard for me to write in silence. Music is comforting to me and I find that my attention drifts more if everything is quiet. I also find that when I use a playlist to write to, the first few songs will instantly kick me into a writing mentality even on days when I would rather be doing anything else. Repetition is the best way to form a habit.
The trick to a good writing playlist to pick songs that fit the mood I am shooting for in my writing. For my Haunted House book, I played songs from magic conscious bands like Purson, Jess and the Ancient Ones, Blood Ceremony and Mount Salem. Mixed in with those were psychedelic bands like Vintage Caravan and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats for that out-of-body mind experience I find useful in supernatural stories. this playlist worked really well for me and never failed to keep me in the mood.
For my Alien Sex Arena book, I was tempted to go with science fiction music but most scifi music is hopeful and on a grand scale. It didn’t quite fit with the theme of an arena where the player will live and die simply to please the crowd. The sex was going to be rough and sweaty, which is not something you can find in a Star Trek soundtrack. I needed something more superficial and yet still exciting.
I found my anwser in Britney Spears music. if I had to list pop female stars in order of personal favorites, Britney might have been near the bottom of list but the dance beat simplicity of her music really sets the tone. Trim out the songs about how sad it is to be a superstar diva and you have a bunch of songs that I could easily imagine playing in between sex fights at the arena.
The other upside to using Britney songs is that since I am not super fans of the songs, I don’t get distracted by them as much as I would with more favorite songs. This is why I don’t use disco music. Disco would be perfect for my theme but I wouldn’t get any writing done if I was singing Blonde’s Atomic full six minute version. I need upbeat catchy songs about dancing or fucking but not songs that are too good that I sing along.
For the rest of the soundtrack, I turned to other pop singers. It seems like every pop album has at least one song about how the singer is going to fuck someone’s brains out. Some like Nicole Scherzinger and Kelly Rowland have multiple fuck songs with every album. I picked and choose, omitting songs that were more romantic than sexy and dropping singers I simply don’t enjoy. I also threw in some older songs from the late 80’s that didn’t hit these qualifications but evoked memories from my hormone-crazed teenage years.
I have been listening to some version of this playlist since November, when I first started work on the Sex Arena book. Some have become real favorites, like Britney’s “Work, Bitch” that I will probably add to future playlists. Others are more recent additions like Janelle Monae’s wonderful “Make Me Feel”. It has been fun to curate and the act of picking songs makes me thinki a lot about the kind of story I am working on. Even if you don’t use music to write with, I suggest making a playlist of songs that you think would work as a compliment to your art.