Whenever I’m writing, I like to put on music in the background. Something about having music on puts the never ending distracting thoughts on hold and lets me just write.
Some types of music works better for this and I find myself going back to the same tracks over and over again when I’m writing.
My routine for writing is as follows:
- Go somewhere comfortable to write. Usually this means the local coffee shop.
- Pull up youtube on my computer and go to a writing track I like.
- Start writing.
I find that if I follow this 3 step formula, the writing flows much easier and I can build some good momentum.
This begs the question, what tracks do I listen to?
Generally I like music to have a good beat. If I’m bopping my head slightly back and forth I know it’s good stuff. Something with a good beat also seems to have the effect of shutting off my brain’s distracting thoughts.
Secondly, I prefer to listen to stuff without lyrics. Sometimes lyrics is alright, but I find that lyrics interrupt my brain coming up with words to type as I start thinking about what the song is saying.
Finally, I enjoy music that I can listen to in the background and not get interrupted. This is different than if I was working out. I’m not trying to get hyped up with this music, I’m trying to get in a flow state.
If you’re not familiar with Zyzz, he was an internet personality from around 2011. Essentially his claim to fame was having an aesthetic physique and spreading positive messages like “We’re all gonna make it brahs.”
Zyzz also liked industrial house music. At least that’s what I think you call it. It’s not super important. What is important is that whenever I listen to these “Zyzz tracks” I tend to write easier.
After Zyzz’s death, people on youtube made Zyzz music tribute compilations and they are perfect for writing.
My go to video to listen to is this:
There’s a bunch of Zyzz tribute videos like this. A lot of them have overlapping songs. Click around on the similar videos and find one you like.
Years ago I stumbled upon a video on youtube that I still listen to now and then. It’s called “Beauty of Dubstep”
The great thing about this video is that unlike “dubstep” these tracks aren’t loud and in your face. I looked into it and this is a sub-genre of dubstep called chillstep. It works a lot better.
Chillstep is exactly what it sounds like, music with the dubstep wob wob sound, but more calming.
New Retro Wave
I’m not sure how I came upon this style of music but I love it. Part of the mystique of these videos is the thumbnail art and the art that is shown while the music is playing.
I’m a fan of the 80’s synth music, so when I found out that people are making completely new tracks in the Jan Hammer style, I was pumped. I was even more pumped to find out there are hundreds of these videos.
This kind of music falls into two categories, both of which I find good to listen to while writing. They are the more upbeat type and the dark brooding John Carpenter type.
A good example of the upbeat type would be something like this:
A good example of the dark brooding type would be this:
Try them out
Not everyone is a fan of synth-industrial-house-whatever music, but even if you’re not a fan of it, I think it can still work wonders for your writing flow.
Give it a shot the next time you’re writing and see how it works for you.