Music is essential to the creative process for most people. Artists will tend to listen to music while drawing or painting or sculpting or whatever medium they work in. Music will often help calm and relax the brain and keep it more focused on the task at hand. If there is silence while you work, your mind may tend to wander and your focus dissipates into things that do not concern your art. With music flowing through your brain, it will push your thoughts away and you can work to the rhythm and keep yourself going.
This is the same with writing, except it may be more difficult for some people. It’s probably not a good idea to listen to music that has lyrics while writing, because you may end up writing the lyrics instead. But the same principles of listening to music while doing art apply to writing. It’s best to find a piece of music that captures the essence and feeling of what you’re working on.
Great movies have soundtracks that always fit the scene. If you can find a piece of music that fits your scene, that is the perfect thing to keep you concentrating on writing, and even may motivate you to do it more. I find I often get inspired for different scenes when listening to music; I play the scenes out in my head in time with the music, and I actually do a lot of outlining this way. In fact, I got a whole story idea from listening to music. Another story of mine is titled after a song because the song fits the story and characters so well, and it probably wouldn’t be near as good if I hadn’t heard that song.
That’s another way music can inspire writing; some songs (a lot of songs) you can find that will fit your characters and story ideas/premises and the more you listen to that song the more you just can’t wait to start writing. Listening to it gets you pumped to write it every time.
Where can I find this great writing music, you may ask. Most people often will suggest “epic” music like Two Steps from Hell or Audiomachine or movie soundtracks like Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars, etc. That’s great if they fit your stories, but I find suggesting things like that is often the worst thing you can do unless you’re writing some sort of action packed battle scene. If you want great writing music, tailored for your specific story, search for things with a similar genre to your story. You writing a fantasy? Go for those epic scores. Writing a sci-fi? Look for more techno music or soundtracks from appropriate genre movies or shows or even video games. Also try searching for music from other countries. Icelandic Folk music inspired a story about two children playing imagination games in the forest for me.
Whatever you may be writing, go search for some music that fits the tone and listen and see if it helps you stay motivated to write. Of course, you may end up just getting sucked into the music and not doing anything but listening while staring off into space. That’s okay, too, just make sure to come back down sooner or later.
(Disclaimer: this is not that great of a piece, it was essentially me rambling about my feelings on music while writing and for that I apologize; I’ll try to do more in depth things in the future)