Guest Blog with Krystal Wade

Today I welcome my first guest blogger, Krystal Wade. Krystal blogs about a lot of things, from her memories of growing up, to hilarious tales of picking up hitchhikers, or – as she calls them – slugs (I don’t know. You’ll have to ask her). In a recent post I wrote, I mentioned that I can’t listen to music while writing. This was Krystal’s response.

Music is My Muse

Recently I discovered Derek doesn’t listen to music when he writes. My initial reaction was shock, but when he explained his reasoning it made sense. He’s a musician and a writer. Listening to music for him could be compared to reading a book while writing a manuscript. Something along the lines of studying and a fear of ripping off other people’s work.

But for me, and I’m sure many others, music is essential while I write. Not only does it drown out the sounds of barking dogs, arguing toddlers, loud televisions or whatever else is going on in my house, the music opens my imagination to a whole new level.

Words flow from my fingers at the same pace as the beat. Emotions explode as the song reaches a crescendo or emotions dwindle as the song winds down with a decrescendo. It doesn’t matter what type of music—I listen to almost everything—as long as it’s full of feeling. You know what I mean? Music that moves you. Whether it’s the Braveheart soundtrack or Eminem and Rihanna singing about hard times—The. Music. Must. Move. Me.

What I always find funny is if someone asks me what I’m listening to while I write, my response is always the same, “I have no clue.”

That’s right. I don’t hear music while I write. It may affect the emotions of what I’m working on, but it only registers in some subconscious part of my brain. For me to “hear” what I’m listening to I must make a conscious effort.

There are times when I choose a certain type of music because I want it to influence me in a particular way—this is why I have many Pandora stations—and once playing I get lost in it.

Many of my character’s diverse personalities are due to what I was listening to while I was writing their lines. For instance, one of my story’s antagonists isn’t sure about his bad ways and I blame Linkin Park’s What I’ve Done for that. There are a few other songs which have molded that antagonist in particular, many of which involve a lot of scary screaming and soft songs of regret.

My favorite protagonist is influenced by so many songs, it would be impossible to name them all here, but one song that struck me more than any while writing “her story” was Hold You In My Arms by Ray LaMontagne.

Now that we’re on the subject, I’m wondering if I should keep a writing/music diary, so I know which musician to blame if one of my characters takes a path not of my design.

Krystal’s blog can be found here: and on Twitter, she can be found here:!/KrystalWade


15 thoughts on “Guest Blog with Krystal Wade

  1. Hi Derek and Krystal,

    Today I sat down and wrote two short stories. It was hard going (don’t know how you guys do it!) I started to think about Derek’s post about music and I wondered if I could write more / better / faster with music so I listened to some random music I found on Black Water Studios facebook page.

    Not only did I write faster and better but I wrote a whole different story!!

    So, thank you guys for opening up the world of writing and music.

    It’s kinda cool!


  2. Something about music makes me feel my words. It’s the difference between dragging them out of me and enjoying them as they flow. I totally feel you on that, girl! I have one CD (Miranda Lambert’s Kerosene) that makes me write like a banshee. And I sing every word as I write, and I’m still typing as fast as I can. It’s amazing! (Well, other than my singing voice. Not amazing at all. But to sing and type? Very cool!)

  3. Okay, now that’s what I call multi-tasking. Singing while writing. Don’t think I could manage that one. Not unless I want to put what I’m singing to paper.

    Last night I was listening to some very powerful movie soundtracks–don’t ask which ones, because I wasn’t paying attention–and I swear they helped me write an incredible scene.

  4. Great post! Writing & music, two of the most important things in our lives. I can write with or without music, but certain type of music definitely helps rather than hinders writing.

    Thanks for sharing, Derek & Krystal, and happy writing! Yes, a music/writing diary is a great idea, go for it, Krystal!

    1. Thanks for replying, Junying. Music and Writing are definitely the two most important things in our lives. Music saved me from many things as a child and writing provides an excellent escape from my long commute as an adult. 😉

      I may work on the diary. Only thing is..I’ll have to “think” about it and that will hinder my creative flow. 😉

  5. I envy you people!! If there is music on, I become lost in it to distraction. If I know the words, I sing. Most often, I can’t help dancing as well. That just does not work with trying to write. However…. I do have music playing while I sleep. I’ve found that different music leads to very different dreams. I would like to think that affects my subconscious, and expands my thinking. Probably though, I am slogging away here… uninspired by the fantastic muses available to you. 🙂 Thanks for this, Krystal, I really enjoyed it.

  6. Great post guys – listening to music can deffo help – especially if you want to bring extra tempo/speed into the narrative or need to feel a certain mood before you write a particular scene!

    1. Hey, Louise, I’ve been working on a very emotional and SCARY scene in my second book. I’ve had some movie soundtracks playing in the background for this one. Hope it reads as emotional as I’ve felt while writing.

  7. Funny, I can have music on when I write – in fact, I almost have to, as it helps me focus and relaxes me – but I find it too much of a distraction when I read. Whether it affects what or how I write remains to be seen – you’ve got me curious now!

    1. Maybe if Derek has me back, I’ll go on to explain how when I’m editing my words or reading a book, no music can be on at all. The soundtrack of life (ie, kids, dogs, tv, etc) cannot be playing either.

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