When I’m writing, I usually have music on in the background. Sometimes it’s classical. Sometimes it’s pop. Sometimes it’s a sad song like REM’s “Everybody Hurts” and sometimes it’s an upbeat song like OK GO’s “Here We Go Again.” Sometimes it’s an energetic song like “Nitro” by The Offspring and, on occasion, it’s something silly like the theme to “Growing Pains.” I try to match the music to my writing mood. It seems to help the words flow.
But if I were forced to listen to only one song for the rest of my writing life to find inspiration, it’d most definitely be “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin” by Colin Hay (yes, that Colin Hay who came from a land down under to sing for Men At Work). I was originally turned onto the song when it appeared on a fairly emotional episode of “Scrubs” and something about it just clicked with me. The lyrics inspire me to look past my failures and shortcomings and strive to be better—a better father, a better husband, a better person, a better writer—because greatness lies ahead. It’s motivating and beautiful all at once.
So the Q for you is this: If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your writing career, what would it be and why? Is it based on the type of fiction you write? Is it just a melody that keeps you inspired? Post it in the comments section. I’d love to listen to songs that inspire others.