Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Writer Brainradio

Kelly's got her Brainradio. I desperately need one.

I've tried writing to music before, but never found my groove. I'm not sure music with words will do it for me. But I love running to music, so here's my secret playlist.

I'm putting it out here in exchange for your suggestions as to a writing playlist. I need song, artist, and what aspect or genre of writing work it's good for---warming up, plowing on through, delicate word manipulation, blasting out a draft, cleaning up rough edges, etc.

Come on, tell me. Make something up if you have to.

A sampling of Sara's run playlist*

*to save time with the linky-links, I published it as a Sports iMix on iTunes. For some reason, it wouldn't pull up the CCR tune as part of the mix, but that's on iTunes, too.

Lyle Lovett: She's Hot to Go "You don't have to care who sees your hair..." (gets me out the door. Plus the bit about "she's UGLY" makes me laugh every time.)

Steppenwolf: Magic Carpet Ride (convinces me running might be fun if I just get in the zone.)

Elton John: The B**** is Back. "I can b*****. I can b***** 'cause I'm better than you." (Gets me up hills.)

Tracy Chapman: Talking About a Revolution
"Don't ya know ya better run, run, run, run..." (Cruising)

Usher: Yeah! (So I can distract myself by rocking the dance floor in my head.)

Stevie Wonder: You are the Sunshine of My Life. (Downhill. I don't care if you see me smiling like an idiot. I'm happeee!)

Nickel Creek: The Fox (Mr. Fox saying "a couple of you are gonna grease my chin" makes me pick up the pace. Am I the fox or the chickens?)

CCR: Bad Moon Rising "I know the end is coming soon. I feel rivers overflowing. I hear the voice of rage and ruin." (Hills again. But really, any time you need to whup something.)

Aretha Franklin: Freeway of Love "How'd ya get ya pants so tight?" (Ha!) "I kinda think we're going for an extended throwdown...let's cruise on into to Better-Than-Ever Street." "Drop the pedal and GO, come on, now...GO!" If you won't run for Aretha, you won't run for nobody.

And if I'm wiped out and still have 8:29 to go, I recommend Meat Loaf. You know the one.


Thanks to Buzz, Balls & Hype for the post on music to surf to, with specifics for the exact day and type of waves. My favorite of his suggestions? Once in a Lifetime, Talking Heads (recommended for much bigger surf as in the line: ‘and you may say to your self; my god! What have I done?’)

So, let's hear it...real or imaginary...what songs could you write to? Bonus points if you make your Writer Brainradio into an iTunes mix and post it.

UPDATE! Adrienne just posted her mix! TRIPLE Bonus Points to her! Here's her blog entry. If you have iTunes, you can download it here:



  1. Does it count if my current WIP is *about* music, and performing music, so I'm writing to the music I'm actually writing about?

  2. Running to "The Fox" = brilliant idea. Nickel Creek's music makes me instantly happy. I miss them already.

    Try the Squirrel Nut Zippers for running (or writing when you need a big boost), though I would think it would be too hard to not stop and dance.

  3. Most country songs get me goin' as they are just written really well. Words that move and show without telling. I usually only listen in my mini-van, but will arrive home inspired and ready to compose my own words.

    I LOVE Meatloaf!!

  4. I'm not a writer but I am a runner. I am going to try some from your playlist. Although a bit ashamed to admit this, I love running to Eminem's "8 Mile" and anything by the Black Eyed Peas. I would think for writing anything classical or instrumental would be good. I love Chopin's Nocturnes from the Rubinstein Collection and also Herb Albert. Some fun Flamenco guitar music might work too. Good luck.

  5. Here's a little sampling of mine, Sara (although I'd like to run with you and just talk the whole time...)

    Elaine Elias: Running
    Ben Kweller: I Gotta Move
    Dixie Chicks: Ready to Run
    Whiskeytown: Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart
    Abba: Take a Chance on Me
    Fountains of Wayne: Stacy's Mom
    Lucinda Williams: Mama You Sweet
    Buddy Holly: Well, Alright
    CSNY: Helplessly Hoping
    Angelique Kidjo: Mama Golo Papa

  6. Jennie, that's so cool. I didn't know you had such an interesting WIP. Have you blogged about it?

    Jules, just the name---Squirrel Nut Zippers--- might get me running. Dancing is allowed while running, btw.

    Amy, you Meatloaf lover, you! Who da thunk it?

    Gina and Liz: You two should meet each other. You are both MUCH better runners than I. And I love your suggestions. Black-eyed Peas "Let's Get it Started" is a classic pump-you-up song. And Abba! Of course! I going to have to check out the rest. I don't know if I could do anything but listen to Lucinda. She just stops me in my tracks with her voice.

    Isn't it funny how there are songs you don't like EXCEPT to run/work out to?

  7. If you're keeping up with comments for this post, I just updated the original entry. Check out the WriterBrainRadio adrienne just posted. Awesome!


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