There’s this romantic image of the writer hunched in silence over their notebook, the rhythm of their scribbles the only disturbance in the hush of creation. I think that image is well juxtaposed by a more contemporary image of a writer in a coffee shop, headphones blocking out the world while they type to the rhythm of their writing playlist. There’s probably writers who fall somewhere in between – there always are – but I can’t imagine writing without music.
In fact, at this point I don’t even try. On the rare occasion in which I find myself at the mercy of the sounds of the natural world, I’m far more inclined to take advantage of the moment so I can breathe some clear air and maybe take a nap. No reason to mess with what works, and for me what works is a bunch of loud stuff in my ears.
This week, that loud stuff is mostly from this playlist via Tidal – I signed up for Tidal the night that Beyonce’s Lemonade dropped, as I’m sure countless others did. It’s turned into my favorite music service by far, in no small part because it’s fun to check out these curated playlists.
The Ultimate Dad Rock Playlist is 500 songs of music that I remember hearing on the radio whenever my dad was driving us somewhere. It probably skews a little toward the Gen X kid experience versus what the children of Gen Xers grew up listening to – but there’s representation from Stevie Wonder to the Stooges so there’s likely something to get your fingers moving on the keyboard in this cross-section of songs.
Use this for your writing playlist. Then, in your best radio announcer voice, say: “The best of the 60s, 70s, and 80s!”
Then write a scene involving that on the radio – which you then have to cut because this novel doesn’t need a radio announcer scene in it!