I Can Make Your Day Better

Things are happening!  This weekend, I finished my first draft!!  It’s a great feeling, but I still have a long way to go until I’m finished.

Also, I made it past the first round of a competition to become a regular blogger on The Write Practice, which reaches 35,000 readers a month!! (By contrast Illegal Writing gets about 700-800/month.) To convey the meaning of this let me explain: The Write Practice = Platform = Agent = Publisher = Novel on bookshelves!

In honor of the weekend’s news, I’m dedicating this post to The Write Practice, which is all about getting people to take action to improve their lives.  The end of each blog post includes a 15-minute writing prompt designed to get everyone’s creative juices flowing.  So today, I’m going to create my own prompt.  Many of you aren’t writers, so it’s just a little something to try make you happier.  If you do it, be sure to tell me how it goes!!


Ok so to be a successful writer (I imagine), you have to keep your mood in check.  This is because people can feel your mood in your writing. If you’re excited, that energy is conveyed on the page. Likewise, if writing is a burden for you during a particular moment, readers can feel that too.  What do I do to make my mind right? I use music to get me to the place I want to be.  For example, for some reason Lucy Pearl’s “I Wanna Dance Tonight” puts me a GREAT mood. Toni Braxton is good for those depressing love scenes.  I’m not the only one!  “Fifty Shades of Grey” author EL James famously relied on the Black Eyed Peas’ “Sexy” while writing her novel.

Do you think this will work for you?  Let’s see!  Listen to a song that you think will change your mood. What did you choose? Did it work? Tell me!!


49 thoughts on “I Can Make Your Day Better

  1. I just listened to Kanye’s “We Major”. As always, it turned my mood from tepid to triumphant!

    Additionally, this is all very exciting. Good luck Monica!

  2. So recently, to put me in the mood to kick butt and take names at work, I’ve been listening to Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3 album a lot – “Run This Town” “So Ambitious” “On to the Next One” list goes on lol. Every song pretty much makes me feel ready for the day ahead, haha.

    • Oooh, good ones. This post is leading me to some good alternatives! 🙂 Jay Z is already ready to take over the world haha–I might listen to him right now.

  3. I use music a lot when I’m writing — either to put me in a particular mood or to recover from certain scenes I’ve written. Listening to the soundtrack of O, Brother, Where Art Thou helped set the mood for parts of my memoir — evoking the post-Depression era of my Baptist missionary great grandparents.

    • Good point, sometimes you need music to get OUT of the mood you’re place in from writing. I’ve definitely been there as well. Thanks for the comment Andrea!

  4. Whenever my mind is racing about what’s ahead or I can feel myself stressing out a bit, I like to listen to some pure bravado rap. Right now, I’m killing J. Cole’s “Forbidden Fruit,” just a real chill song that makes me think of a cool beach breeze or something. Oh, and head nodding is mandatory.

  5. What a wonderful idea. Music is so powerful and I’ve been thinking of ways to make my living more active and intentional by creating daily rituals that inspire specific things inside me and focus my energy, so it’s only fitting to add music into that ritual practice. After reading your post, I felt as though I could use a bit of inspiration, but the hard part was that an inspirational song title didn’t immediately come to mind. This past weekend, however, “A Rose Is Still A Rose” by Aretha Franklin came on at a friend’s house and I was immediately touched. So I chose to listen to that song again. Although I don’t know if it lent itself to the exact mood that I was hoping to induce, it did inspire me to think about an idea that I’ve been mulling over for some time, which inspired me to write an email to a friend in an effort to expand on that idea. Woop whoop! Thank you for sharing. Much love to all.

  6. Just took your advice Monica and decided on Jay-Z’s “Tom Ford.” Took me from post-work exhaustion to boss chick cat-walking throughout the house. What a little music can do… Thanks!

  7. I have never previously used music to fuel my writing, but I took your suggestion today, putting on Simon and Garfunkle’s Cecilia. Let me tell you — I am pumped to get writing. Thanks for the tip, Monica!

  8. when I have to write something that isn’t inspiring (certain emails, lists, instructions, etc.) I listen to meditative music, regular bells or tones. really helps you focus on annoying tasks. thanks for this tool! I will use it the next time I’m doing something creative.

  9. Showtunes are the best music to write to. They are usually very rhythmic and that pitter-patter translates into the fluidity of prose. Also, the lyrics are usually witty and give you good ideas for turns of phrase.

  10. Michael Jackson “Human Nature” is my go-to song, to zone out and be put into a great writing mood, yet not to “hype” that I’m doing more moving and dancing then writing!

  11. Film scores tend to help me get in the zone. Hans Zimmer and James Horner are two of my favorites. I listened to Hans Zimmer’s “Now we are free” from the Gladiator film score and it definitely changed my mood. Until now, I never gave much thought to how much music affects my writing. Thanks!

  12. When i was in college, my roommate’s girlfriend was getting all sad about something that was pretty superficial and really not that important. So i decided to have a little fun. I started playing the song “I, Cry” by Ja Rule and slowly turned it up in the background. After each notch on Tamika (remember my old stereo Tamika?), her eyes would water just a little more, until she finally burst and started crying. Then i felt bad and turned it off. Eric thought it was funny though, so it was all good. Point is – yes, music can affect your mood!

  13. I could not agree with you more! I rely on different songs for different days and/or moods. I have “pump-up” songs that help me focus on tasks at hand (usually at work) as well as “mellow” songs which I use to unwind after a long day (along with a glass of wine)…. and everything in between.

  14. I like to put in the Forrest Gump soundtrack whenever I feel stuck with school writing, particularly “Feather” by John Williams. The lightness of the song along with the visual image of the feather falling from the movie opens up my mind; I feel relaxed, composed, and in control. It works *every* time. Great post, Monica!

  15. This is so true! I just put on one of my go-to Pandora stations whenever I’m having a bad day. The Toni Braxton station is one of them! I was feeling sluggish this morning, so I put on my “dance” playlist on the way to work. It perked me up right away!

  16. Music always makes me happier. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston makes me really happy and it doesn’t hurt that the video is so cute!

  17. So true! Whenever I need a “pick me up” (like today, after a particularly long day in the office), I throw on one of my go to’s. Turns out a little Musiq Soulchild was just what I needed.

    Good luck, Monica!!

  18. This most certainly works for me! Titanium (David Guetta) does the trick. It gives me all types of mood boosters depending on what I need… walking to work, during a run, “introspective” focus, energy for a night out, etc. If this song were around when I needed to write class papers (I don’t miss those days :P) this would be my go-to. Also, to Lawrence’s credit, Human Nature (Michael Jackson) is a fantastic pick to get your mood in a zone.

  19. I’ve always loved “Reflections in D” by Duke Ellington. Every time I listen to it I’m taken to a far away place. It always brings back the feeling I had during a quiet nighttime view overlooking central park or of the smell of the douglas firs during a walk through the forest on an autumn afternoon. It calms me and brings a smile to my face each and every time.

  20. I’m hooked on J. Cole’s “Crooked Smile” off of his newest album (“Born Sinner”)! It always lightens my mood and makes me feel good about myself. I probably listen to it twice while on the subway, riding into work.

  21. I just listened to “Whip Appeal” by Babyface (I am sure you can figure out why) haha. Took me back to the early 90s when life was so simple and music was actually…well…MUSIC! I now have a Babyface Pandora station. 🙂

  22. Pingback: Why I Blog About Noveling | illegalwriting

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