The Music of Words

Different writers gain inspiration from different things.

But almost all writers turn to music for the emotion necessary for a successful story.


What’s so special about writing with music?

Writing is based purely on emotion. Take out the emotion in a story, and you’re left with:


Boring picture?

The reason we write while listening to music is because music moves the soul and produces feelings. We use those feelings to move our story forward.

This is why we must be SO careful about what we listen to while we write.

I’m going to be super specific for once:

Do NOT listen to music with lyrics while you write.

Don’t be mad at me, just hear me out.

When the mind listens to lyrical music, it is subconsciously following the word pattern and figuring out what comes next. That takes up a lot of focus.

Focus that should be expended on writing…

I know, I’m sad too. I love lyrical music. Lyrical music can produce emotions. I’m not saying it can’t. I’m saying that lyrical music takes away your focus.

On the other hand…

Instrumental music is the best.


If you want to capture emotion, listen to film scores, instrumental covers, originals. That is emotion without words. Just the type of emotion you need to capture for your writing.

The thing that makes a great story is the ability to capture your reader with the FEEL of the book. Not what the words are saying, but the whole aura of the world you want your reader to be immersed in.

That’s the music of words.

That’s why when you are writing a heartbreaking scene, listen to depressing music. That emotion will transfer itself unconsciously into your writing. A happy scene? Listen to bouncy music, music that makes you wanna jump up and dance! You want your readers to feel happy? The only way you can do that is to first make yourself happy.

So yeah. Lyrical music, no. 😦

Instrumental music, YES! 🙂

One other thing you need to be careful of with musical writing. Don’t get too into it.

I’m not saying not to be passionate, but don’t let yourself be carried too far away by the emotion and the sound.

What happens when you get lost is that you lose structure and coherence in your writing. It will become a journal of feelings for you, not for your reader.

In all of your writing, keep your reader in mind. ALWAYS. Don’t drift too far in response to the music.

As always, write well, listen well, make your writing music without sound.

Happy writing to you!

-Julia H-

3 thoughts on “The Music of Words

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