Top 5 Songs to Write to, but Never to Drive to

Ever had a song come on the radio that was so good, you found yourself doing 70mph in a 55? Where you realized you weren’t a NASCAR driver as the police officer pulled you over? Yep. Me too.

Oddly enough, some of those songs are, to me, the best songs to write novels to as they put that ball of tension in my gut, push me to go faster–NO FASTER–and get the blood pumping like nothing else.

Writers are often asked what music they listen to while writing. It’s so common a topic that many authors will list a book’s “soundtrack,” or the songs most listened to while the author wrote that book. One company took it a bit farther and tried to launch books with their own soundtracks, meant to be played while reading.

Usually, I write better to musical scores. Song with lyrics are a temptation:

  • to sing along
  • to dance
  • to replay the movie in my mind

In other words, to do anything but write.

But these songs break this rule. They are my “Top 5 Songs to Write to, but Never to Drive to”:

5. Inner Universe by Yoko Kanno
(from The Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex)

4. The Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails

3. Pompeii by E. S. Posthumus

2. Navras by Juno Reactor & Don Davis
(from the Matrix Revolutions soundtrack)

1. Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins
(from the Top Gun soundtrack)

Every. Single. Time.

Remember, write responsibly.