Admittedly, the following two playlists accompany a very specific genre for writing. However, medieval and early European music can fuel more than your mere historical epic — it can serve as a calming motor throughout your day, from its mathematically exquisite stanzas to its lulling Gregorian chant and lute-work.
Take more than just a step back in time with these mixes. Submerge yourself in the Dark Ages, for all its grit, orthodoxy, and simplicity.
Summer’s here, and I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping in lately — which leaves me time to stay up late, pushing through the night to write. Today, I bring to you two of my favorite peaceful, late night music playlists to write to. Soft and simple, calm and lulling; I hope that these mixes bring you solace and creativity at all hours of the day.
Happy writing! 🙂
Today’s theme: surrealism across genres!
A piece of writing is surreal when it is disorienting and dreamlike — kind of like a fantastic hallucination that feels strangely familiar yet undeniably alien. It transports you to a place that you can picture, but can never in your wildest fantasies imagine existing.
When I think of surreal literature, I think of classic writers like Edgar Allan Poe and modern authors such as Neil Gaiman and Haruki Murakami. Each of these writers practices his crafts in very different genres — from poetry and dark fantasy to science fiction and magical realism.
The following two playlists follow different moods, different tones, different genres. But both are rooted in the surreal, the otherworldly not-quite-thereness that captivates so many readers and writers.
In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde famously says that “those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty.“
In writing, there is no ugly meaning — even if the meaning is to expose the ugliness of moral corruption and vanity. Exposing, revealing, and reflecting can in no way indicate an ugly purpose; in fact, by Wilde’s standards it would be considered a beautiful meaning because it is composed as art for the sake of art.
“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.” This rings true for all art. A piece that deals with themes of depravity or devolution is not morally corrupt; it is quite noncombatant. Art serves as a narrator, a biographer of what the world might be or could be.
Allow this playlist to serve as your narrator. Find out what your writing might be.
Happy writing! 🙂
From the moody to the broody to the downright angsty, writing can come with a lot of er…darker moments. So what better way to fuel your somber tragedies than to listen to some equally somber playlists?
Ah, the apocalypse. Ash. Dust. Wandering around wastelands. Trying to build a civilization from the ground up takes a good deal of sweat, blood, and wayward emotions, and this gem of a playlist will be your righthand man the day after the end of the world.
So you think the apocalypse is bad? Ha. Ha. Ahaha. Try hell. With this playlist, the most dire fates of your most devious characters will be made fiery, fierce, and undeniably excruciating.
Fantasy is uni-age. You can start it in the creche, and it follows you to death.
― Terry Pratchett
In honor of Terry Pratchett, I’ve hunted down some of my favorite instrumental fantasy mixes on 8tracks. These three playlists will take you from snow-capped mountains and veiled northern lights to the clink of mugs and smell of woodsmoke in a lonely tavern. As you write, follow the wise words of Mr. Pratchett: start in the creche, and strike your journey until death.
We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
― Anaïs Nin
The process of writing is colored by perceptions and realities. We connect what we write to what we know, to faraway memories and distant possibilities. Without reading, these hidden truths remain hidden. Here are two playlists that just might help you unearth some hard truths: slavery and heresy.
If anyone is interested in these playlists and wants to know the full track list, leave a comment and I’ll let you know.
Happy writing! 🙂