When writers say they are experiencing writer’s block, and they act as though the world is ending, it’s because for them – It is.

Some days I’m up until three in the morning writing drafts because my brain is going so fast that it’s thinking, “I can write one more tonight,” but other days, my mind is throbbing, and it hurts. It hurts from looking at words. It hurts from looking at texts. It hurts to watch television because even then you’re thinking of story development on screen. It hurts to read a book sometimes. I don’t know what it feels like to relax, and when you have the inspiration and you have the fire inside you to write, then that kind of adrenaline is amazing.

When you don’t have that inspiration, it feels like the end of the world.

When I feel like I don’t have anything to write about or if I don’t have anything to say or if I feel like I don’t know what language to use or how to execute my thoughts, I feel like I have nothing to offer the world. It feels like I don’t have anything to share. I don’t have anything to offer to anyone and when I don’t have that, writing feels very purposeless for me … and then what if writing is the thing you do for a living? Your life begins to feel purposeless.

The mission in my head is to write to inspire. To write to help others. To give someone else a voice. Maybe even to save someone. If I can’t do that, then why am I doing this again?

Welcome back, everyone, and that’s where I am this week. I’ve been stuck in this rut for a few weeks now and it’s really sucked. Trying to cope with this feeling inside you is draining and exhausting, and I know there are way worse things going on in the world right now than me trying to figure out what to say, which is why I feel like there’s a spot in hell already reserved for me just for thinking like this, but if a writer can’t write, then what do they do?

Maybe they listen to music … Maybe they listen to other people’s words. Maybe they close their eyes and just hear sounds. Maybe they just feel rhythms and beats and melodies.

Here are the songs and my favorite lyrics that help me and guide me and stop me from switching careers completely whenever I am struggling to be that creative kind of person I just always wish I could be.

This Is Gospel by Panic! at the Disco – Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! 2013

“This is gospel for the fallen ones
Locked away in permanent slumber
Assembling their philosophies
From pieces of broken memories
Oh, this is the beat of my heart, this is the beat of my heart
Oh, this is the beat of my heart, this is the beat of my heart
The gnashing teeth and criminal tongues conspire against the odds
But they haven’t seen the best of us yet.”

When they put out this song, I was so so so jealous that this kind of poetry came out of Brendon Urie’s mind when he was only sixteen. I think his lyricism is so profound. This is gospel. This is what we do. These are the things we live by. If I look at writing and creating as the thing that keeps my heart beating, this song really motivates me to keep going. I categorize this song as literal genius, especially when the rhythm of a heartbeat is present through out the whole thing and the line, “They haven’t seen the best of us yet,” is only in the first half of it.

Wrote My Way Out by Nas, Dave East, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Aloe Blacc – The Hamilton Mixtape 2016

“Oversensitive, defenseless, I made sense of it, I pencil in
The lengths to which I’d go to learn my strengths and knock ’em senseless
These sentences are endless, so what if they leave me friendless?
Damn, you got no chill, fuckin’ right I’m relentless.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda says that writing is a lonely job. I mean, put your hands up. What else are you supposed to do? Sometimes you really need to shut the door. Sometimes you need to isolate yourself. Sometimes you think you can work on your laptop in a Starbucks but when everyone is shouting for lattes left and right, you just sigh to yourself and leave. Writing happens between you and your brain before you ever release it for the world to read. That part is so damn lonely. I feel like nobody understands that a lot of the time I need to shut the world out in order to shut my brain up. I struggle with this and being present every single day. It’s something that I think has really affected my social life and my relationships with people, so if anyone has great advice on how to balance this I’d love to hear it. It’s also something that I’m working on every day. I just sit here and listen to this song. Miranda reminds me that I’m not the only one, and even if I’m friendless, this song reminds that my writing is going towards something that will make other people someday understand … but then again, Lin Miranda is a genius, so there’s that.

One Song Glory performed by Adam Pascal – Rent 2005

“One song. Glory. One song before I go.
Glory. One song to leave behind.
Find one song, one last refrain. Glory.”
Do I even have to write about this? I mean, just listen to it. This song makes me cry. I saw Rent live a few years ago and I just bawled in the theater, and this isn’t even the saddest part. Look at the poetry in that. It’s my favorite thing. Thank you, Jonathan Larson.

Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream by Aretha Franklin – I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You 1967

“Help me hold onto this dream,
For sometimes dreams often come true.”

Just a reminder from the queen of soul to keep holding on to the thing that you want. The sad truth is sometimes all we have left is ourselves. We have to keep the fire lit in us ourselves because if that goes out, then we have nothing. We have to keep holding onto to our dreams ourselves because if we lose that, then it’s all over. I love this song for that.

Believe by Safetysuit – These Times 2012

“You gotta believe in what you got.
You gotta believe in what you got.”

The phrase, “There will always be somebody better than you,” runs through my mind a lot when I’m creating. It shouldn’t as often as it happens, but it does. Even if that is true, what’s more important is that you believe in what you’re doing. You gotta believe in what you got, and you gotta just keep trying. I feel like I find my will to breathe in this song.

Why performed by Raul Esparza – Tick, Tick … Boom! 1990

“With only so much time to spend
Don’t wanna waste the time I’m given
“Have it all, play the game” – some recommend
I’m afraid, it just may be time to give in.”

Jonathan Larson is such a writer’s hero of mine. His songwriting and lyricism proves that he was no stranger to the struggle, but at the end of this song, he says, “Hey, what a way to spend the day,” saying that he loved spending his whole day writing and around music and performing for people. It is a risk to choose that to live your life by, but if you like what you’re doing with your time, then what the hell else matters? I’m gonna spend my time this way.

Vienna by Billy Joel – The Stranger 1977

This is a song that is really important to me. It is, I think, the most important song on this playlist. I think it’s something that every creative needs to hear at least once in their life. Vienna is like that place. Your one place. That spot you’re trying to get to. It’s your endgame, and the weight that the song carries as it implies that is just so meaningful and so profound that I don’t want to dissect it or break it apart. So, I’m just going to leave you with it, and the gentle reminder that yes, love.
You’re doing fine. Keep writing.

Slow down you crazy child
You’re so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you’re so smart tell me,
Why are you still so afraid?

Where’s the fire, what’s the hurry about?
You better cool it off before you burn it out
You got so much to do and only
So many hours in a day

But you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want
Or you can just get old
You’re gonna kick off before you even get halfway through
When will you realize… Vienna waits for you?

Slow down you’re doing fine
You can’t be everything you want to be before your time
Although it’s so romantic on the borderline tonight

Too bad, but it’s the life you lead
You’re so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need
Though you can see when you’re wrong
You know you can’t always see when you’re right

You got your passion, you got your pride
But don’t you know that only fools are satisfied?
Dream on, but don’t imagine they’ll all come true
When will you realize… Vienna waits for you?

Slow down you crazy child
Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while
It’s alright, you can afford to lose a day or two
When will you realize… Vienna waits for you?

And you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want or you can just get old
You’re gonna kick off before you even get halfway through
Why don’t you realize… Vienna waits for you?

When will you realize… Vienna waits for you?

I know for many writers and readers, instrumental and classical music is helpful during the inspirational hours. If you have any songs that help you, lyrics or not, I would love it if you shared them in the comments below. It’s always nice to know we’re not the only ones.
Posted by:Erica Garcia

The fact is that nobody has a clue to what my life was really like. - Stevie Nicks

7 replies on “Songs To Help You Write

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