A few years back I wrote the Moody Writing Playlist. It was meant to be listened to on a rainy day with a notebook open and a hot cup of coffee. Like the unbridled feeling of freedom that comes from a late night drive, it’s just you and the music.
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Out of all my hobbies, writing is one that thoroughly fills my cup. It can energize or relax me. It can show me parts of myself I wasn’t previously aware of or it can leave me feeling vulnerable and exposed.
As a productive member of society and stay-at-home-mom to a young infant, it can be difficult to find the time to sit down, put on headphones, and write.
Most of the time, that extra hour or two that I get after my baby falls asleep is spent showering, cleaning up dinner, or with my husband. It’s rarely used just on me.
I’ve found that if I prioritize taking care of myself, I’m more present as a mom, friend, wife, daughter, etc.
So, every so often, I hand my husband the baby monitor, set a timer, and put my music LOUD.
I’ve always been a writer. I wrote “books” for my family and friends when I was a kid, complete with detailed illustrations. The subject matter always involved dogs. As I grew older, I turned to Tumblr and diaries to document my teenage strife.
I write because it’s one of the only ways I can make sense of the clutter in my brain. I have so many trains running on so many tracks up there, it’s difficult to complete a thought some time. Maybe it’s from the lack of stimulation from quarantine, the overstimulation of being a mom to a young baby, the monotony of adult life; the laundry, the cooking, all of it…
I write because it’s one of the few things that is just for me. My self esteem has plummeted recently (for various, tbd reasons). I feel very aware of that fact that my daughter is watching. I want to show her that taking time for herself is important. Self-care is a survival skill, a necessity.
Sometimes self-care is doing my nails or taking an extra hot, extra long shower or staying up a little late to watch TV.
And sometimes it’s curling up on the couch with my laptop, having a good cry and writing it out. I’m able to get thoughts out of my head so they aren’t playing on a loop while I’m trying to be present with my daughter or trying to fall asleep.
I’m able to take all the worries, the resentments, the regrets, the trauma and put it in it’s place.
The joy and happiness are in there, of course. But, I find that most of my writing tends to be dealign with the “big stuff”. Much like therapy, writing is a safe place to let my feelings out.
Having the perfect playlist is key to being able to pick up the pen and go. Playlists are a gift to the world. To be able to say “I’m in this mood” and click on a list of songs to support that mood is actually brilliant. I don’t think I’ve ever properly taken the time to revel in what an amazing concept that is (yes, I know CDs and mix tapes were a thing, but having a playlist with 100 songs just for driving fast is a modern marvel).
This is my new moody writing playlist. It inspires me to write about things that are hard. There’s not much else to it. I hope it creates a sense of longing in you too.
- On the Sea – Beachouse
- No Room in Frame – Death Cab for Cutie
- First Class – Rainbow Kitten Surprise
- Donna – The Lumineers
- Quiet in My Town – Civil Twilight
- Poke – Frightened Rabbit
- Lark – Angela Olsen
- O’ City Lights – Gregory Alan Isakov
- Delicate – Damien Rice
- Heavenly Father – Bon Iver
- See You Soon – Coldplay
- This Life – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes
- Delete Forever – Grimes
- Big Bird in a Small Cage – Patrick Watson
Do you have a moody writing playlist? Do you set aside time to write? Let me know, I’m always open to new music suggestions.