Finding Your Writing-Hero Soundtrack

This past holiday season, I seemed to greatly surprise my father by being able to write at the kitchen table while the rest of the family talked and laughed and buzzed about. But this has always been true for me, for better or for worse: I have little problem blocking out the sounds and actions of my surroundings in order to focus on my writing or reading. However, I have discovered some soundtracks and stations that are, for me, particularly distracting (looking at you NPR), and yet others that are particularly easy and/or inspirational to work with (***they are not always one and the same). This latter (inspirational) group, I like to think of as my Writing-Hero Soundtrack. Very much like Kronk of The Emperor’s New Groove

…(only, hopefully, a bit cooler), I love coming up with my own theme music for writing about as much as I enjoy coming up with it for my actual stories.

A few of my personal favorite Writer-Hero Soundtracks are:

The Slits – Cut album

David Lynch – The Big Dream album

Just about any of Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast episodes


And — one of my most favorite — the J Geils Band Full House live album, 1972

Do you ever do likewise? What music or recordings or voices most inspire you and your art? Do you find music helpful or distracting to your artistic work?


2 thoughts on “Finding Your Writing-Hero Soundtrack”

  1. I can relate to this so much. I work at my school’s newspaper and I absolutely HAVE to put on headphones to write in the newsroom. I have a playlist on Spotify just for chill instrumentals that don’t distract. If I’m just at home around my family, I’m focused. But the bigger the crowd, yeah, I’ll need assistance, lol.

  2. Thanks for the comment! And yes — news is somehow the most distracting of background soundtracks for me. Perhaps because it’s simply too interesting? Too important? And then it can be tricky to find the right music — music that’s interesting/inspirational but that doesn’t then constantly distract me away from the work at hand. The worst for me, however, is *silence.* For some reason, silence can be much more distracting for me than just about anything else.

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