What's on Your Writing Playlist?

This week is the 34th anniversary of MTV, which debuted in 1981 with "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles. We didn't have cable, so I had to get my fill of videos at friends' houses after the channel became available in markets outside of New York and New Jersey.

In honor of the music channel's birthday, here's a sample of my writing playlists. I have to have music on in the background for writing and editing tasks.

Play it Loud...

  • "We're Not Gonna Take It" - Twisted Sister
  • "Cum on Feel the Noise" - Quiet Riot
  • "Let's Go Crazy" - Prince
  • "Run, Run Away" - Slade
  • "Jump" - Van Halen
  • "Red, Red Wine" - UB40
  • "Viva Las Vegas" - Elvis
  • "Born Free" - Kid Rock

Happy Songs...

  • "19 Something" - Mark Wills
  • "All Shook Up" - Elvis
  • "Happy" Pharrell Williams (Who Also Hails from Virginia Beach)
  • "Cheeseburger in Paradise" - Jimmy Buffett
  • "Fun, Fun, Fun" - The Beach Boys
  • "Brighter Than the Sun" - Colbie Caillat
  • "Crocodile Rock" - Elton John
  • "Friday, I'm in Love" - The Cure

80s Favs...

  • "I Melt with You" - Modern English
  • "Mony Mony" - Billy Idol
  • "Goody Two Shoes" - Adam Ant
  • "Love Shack" - The B52s
  • "Manic Monday" - The Bangles
  • "Dancing in the Dark" - Bruce Springsteen
  • "99 Red Balloons" - Nena
  • "Rio" - Duran Duran
  • "Faith" - George Michael
  • "Authority Song" - John Mellencamp
  • "Little Red Corvette" - Prince

Newer Favs...

  • "Save Me, San Francisco" - Train
  • "On Top of the World" - Imagine Dragons
  • "Uptown Funk" - Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars
  • "Dance with Me Tonight" - Olly Murs
  • "Everybody Talks" - Neon Trees
  • "Lips are Movin'" - Meghan Trainor
  • "We are Young" - Fun.
  • "The Edge of Glory" - Lady Gaga
  • "I'm in a Hurry" - Florida Georgia Line

It's time to turn up the tunes and get back to editing my work in progress.  What's on your playlist?

What's on Your Playlist? Murderous Songs for Mystery Writers

I love Train's "50 Ways to Say Goodbye." It's great for mystery writers. It's full of lots of ideas for bumping off characters.

So here's a playlist of other songs with murderous lyrics if you need inspiration for writing your next mystery:

  • Dixie Chicks - "Goodbye, Earl"
  • Bob Marley - "I Shot the Sheriff"
  • Queen - "Bohemian Rhapsody"
  • Foster the People - "Pumped up Kicks"
  • R. Dean Taylor - "Indiana Wants Me"
  • Johnny Cash - "The Long, Black Veil"
  • Kenny Rogers - "Coward of the County"
  • Bobby Darrin - "Mack the Knife"
  • Georgie Fame "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde"
  • Jim Croce - "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown"
  • The Police - "Murder by Numbers"
  • Talking Heads - "Psycho Killer"
  • The Beatles - "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"
  • Garth Brooks - "Papa Loved Mama"

What's Your Writing Playlist?

I love music, and it's a part of just about everything I do. I even have a "Play it Loud" list for driving on the interstate in the red Mustang.

 I was asked recently what's on my playlist for writing. And it depends...

With fifteen different, themed playlists with hundreds of hours of music, I usually listen to rock or country with a fast pace and uplifting words. I write and edit better when there's a beat. These are my favorites right now:

  • Kid Rock
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Train
  • Pharrell Williams (He's from Virginia Beach too.)
  • Colbie Caillat
  • Neon Trees
  • Fun.
  • Bruno Mars
  • Sara Bareilles
  • Uncle Kracker

But, I also often go back to old friends:

  • Van Halen
  • Elvis
  • UB40
  • Prince
  • Billy Joel
  • Elton John
  • Culture Club
  • Duran Duran

And if you're a mystery writer who's stuck, put on Train's "50 Ways to Say Goodbye." He offers a variety of ways to get rid of that annoying character.

What do you listen to when you write? Is there a specific genre that works best for you?

For more blogs about writing, check out author, Maggie King.

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