Guest Post: On Music and Writing (with Alex Nader)

Next up in my “Guest Posters Because I’m Too Lazy To Write Posts Myself” series, we have Alex Nader cogitating on the relationship between music and writing. Take it away, Alex!


Alex Nader Promo

On Music and Writing

Music is a big part of my day to day life. In the car, at work, pretty much no matter what I’m doing, music is playing. I listen to everything from vintage blues to modern punk rock. Music also inspires a lot of my writing. I even have a playlist of songs to use as inspiration for my novel Beasts of Burdin. (Shameless self promoting? I’m for it.)

The only problem is when I’m writing I can’t listen to music. Something about words in music distracts me. I focus too much on the words and end up not writing a thing. It’s terribly frustrating since I enjoy music so much. Luckily for me, I’ve found solutions.

One of my solutions is a band called 2 Cellos. They cover a variety of pop songs with only, you guessed it, two cellos playing the music. My other solution? A series called the Pickin’ On Series. It’s a compilation of bluegrass bands covering everything from Aerosmith to John Mayer, mostly instrumental. It’s perfect. I made a playlist of the songs I like and now I have music to write to without having to worrying about getting lost in the lyrics.

So you may be asking yourself, who is this guy that’s written these words I’m currently reading? Let me tell you. I’m Alexander Nader. I’ve written a couple books, the best of which is going to be published next April by J. Taylor Publishing.

Beasts of Burdin is a tour de force of ridiculousness. Okay, tour de force is probably a bit of an overstatement, but I really wanted to use the phrase. It’s about Ty Burdin, a retired demon hunter who gets dragged back into his old life of hunting and is drowned in a world of complications because of it. I think it came out pretty good, and if you feel the urge, you should probably follow me at my blog,, for updates. If not there you can find me on Twitter, tweeting about something or other. @AlexNaderWrites.


Unrelated media of the day:

In honour of May the Fourth, (yes, I’m a day late, I’m aware), I present to you:

Categories: Guest Post | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “Guest Post: On Music and Writing (with Alex Nader)

  1. I can’t listen to music while writing either. I end up singing along, and I think if I tired instrumental covers, I’d still start singing along with the parts I know.

  2. I’ve got a similar “music while writing” problem. Sometimes I can get away with instrumentals, other times (for whatever arbitrary reason), I can’t. And it’s a cryin’ shame, because I adore music! Ah, well; I can partly console myself by having my characters frequently burst into song.

  3. I’m going to split hairs even finer. I can listen to music when I’m editing but not when I’m writing.

    Cool post. Music and writing are big part of my life and often frame my thinking.

    • I’m actually the opposite. I can write with music, but prefer silence with editing. But I have a long standing opposition to anything editing related so I usually go with whatever distraction I can find when editing.

      • If I have to do something that requires spatial reasoning, like building something, I find that baroque-era classical music helps get my brain in synch.

  4. I can only listen to certain music when I’m writing and it has to be music I know well and have been listening to for years. If I hear anything new it’s turned off 😉

  5. Great post. I’m in two minds. If there’s not much going on around me I prefer no music while writing. If there are a lot of distractions I find music helps shut them out. A writing teacher I had once recommend writing in complete silence. Sometimes works but it’s hard to find. Apparently Stephen King, that eternal benchmark, listens to hard rock and heavy metal. Whatever works, I guess!

    • I like music when I write, definitely. It just has to be the write genre, otherwise something silly will happen, like I’m trying to write a battle scene and they end up doing all sorts of ridiculous shenanigans because I’m listening to bubblegum pop instead of heavy rock. Silence? Hmm … I have a hard time with that, because my stomach likes to make all sorts of silly noises, and that’s even more distracting than music, lol.

  6. inkspeare

    Instrumental works well for me; I get distracted by lyrics as well.

    • I’ve found movie soundtracks are really great for that. Have you tried the Troy soundtrack? It’s eerie and violent and wonderful — I mean, if that’s the kind of writing you’re doing, obviously! If you’re doing chic lit, I wouldn’t recommend it, lol.

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