My Music List; Or, What I Listen to While I'm Writing

I'd heard about people that listen to music while they're writing. I thought it was crazy.


I was taking a writing class from Shonda Rhimes a couple of years ago. She wrote the tv show "Grey's Anatomy", along with a number of other tv shows. She mentioned that she listens to music while writing. "How odd," I thought. It seems like you would need to focus, and you couldn't while music was blaring in your ears.

Maybe she listens to classical music or something. It seems like having words ringing through your head while you're trying to write would be difficult. Nope. Shonda Rhimes listens to heavy metal while she writes. Crazy. That is, until I tried it.

Probably around a year ago now I decided to listen to a few of my favorite songs while trying to write. Just as an experiment. I wrote faster and better. I was surprised. Now, I almost always listen to music while I write. I can write anywhere, any time, but I prefer to be standing in front of a computer listening to my music list.

A number of my Chinese students asked for the kind of music that I like, so I made a list of the songs that I listen to while writing so that they can check them out. I've even let a few of them listen to a song while we were in session to satiate their curiosity.

Here's the list.

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A Place for My Head by Linkin Park
Maximize by Amaranthe
Feel Good Drag by Anberlin
The Resistance by Anberlin
Are You Ready by Disturbed
Becoming the Bull by Atreyu
Hail to the King by Avenged Sevenfold
Hear Me Now by Bad Wolves
Zombie by Bad Wolves
Tears Don't Fall by Bullet for My Valentine
Welcome Home by Coheed and Cambria
Courtesy Call by Thousand Foot Krutch
What If by Creed
Out of Line by Device
Inside by the Fire by Disturbed
Just Stop by Disturbed
Legion of Monsters by Disturbed
Pain Redefined by Disturbed
Remember by Disturbed
Voices by Disturbed
What are You Waiting For? by Disturbed
You're Mine by Disturbed
Beautiful by Eminem
Mockingbird by Eminem
Not Afraid by Eminem
The Monster by Eminem
Till I Collapse by Eminem
Bring Me to Life by Evanescence
Unbreakable by Fireflight
Fully Alive by Flyleaf
Remember by Gemini Syndrome
Stardust by Gemini Syndrome
I am the Fire by Halestorm
Here's to Us by Halestorm
Happy by Mudvayne
I'm Alive by Disturbed
Thunder by Imagine Dragons
Adrenalize by In This Moment
What Should I Do by Jaymes Young
Become the Beast by Karliene
Coming Undone by Korn
Never Never by Korn
Enjoy the Silence by Lacuna Coil
Heaven's A Lie by Lacuna Coil
Losing My Religion by Lacuna Coil
Our Truth by Lacuna Coil
Lose Yourself by Eminem
No Plan B by Manafest
Come Alive by Matty Mullins
Don't Stop by Nothing More
This is the Time by Nothing More
Face Everything and Rise by Papa Roach
Papercut by Linkin Park
Pioneer by House of Heroes
Do You Call My Name by Ra
Die Easy by Rag'n'Bone Man
Human by Rag'n'Bone Man
Smooth by Santana
What Lies Ahead by Semblant
In Chains by Shaman's Harvest
State of My Head by Shinedown
Life is Beautiful by Sixx A.M.
Stars by Sixx A.M.
We Will Not Go Quietly by Sixx A.M.
Feel Invincible by Skillet
Rise by Skillet
Animal by Smash Into Pieces
Let Me Be Your Superhero by Smash Into Pieces
Stronger by Smash Into Pieces
Somewhere I Belong by Linkin Park
Breathe Again by Spoken
Through It All by Spoken
Carnivore by Starset
My Demons by Starset
Aerials by System of a Down
Hypnotize by System of a Down
This Is Gonna Hurt by Sixx A.M.
Black Honey by Thrice

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It's not every song that I like, but it's a solid list. I think listening to familiar songs is key. If you didn't know what was coming on next, or if it was a new song for you, you would probably pay too much attention to the music and not be able to let your mind keep that as the background so that you can focus on what you're writing. Every now and then I even put it on a single song for awhile, but I have found that I do like some variety.

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Read more of what Jeff deems worthy of attention at: http://www.JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

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