If the phrase "writer's block" seems like a way of life to you, you're not alone.
And if you try to circumvent your problem by reading all your favorite books and hoping inspiration will come to you, that's normal too.
But what if, in the rush to read as much Kafka and Voltaire as possible and let it soak into your brains, you've missed another obvious source of inspiration?
In light of Kendrick Lamar's recent Pulitzer Prize win, I've been thinking about the ways music can be inspirational to writers, and how it's been a tool to me in my own journey. The first personal essay I ever had published was inspired by a song by the band Heartless Bastards. Sure, I always had the story in me, but it took the deeply personal chord that the song struck to dig the story out of myself.
That was a few years ago, but I still allow music to guide me when I'm feeling stuck — I actually have an entire "writing" playlist on Spotify just for this very reason. I like music with a modern, jazzy feel to it, like St. Germain or Bonobo, but sometimes it depends on my mood or the type of writing I'm doing. If I'm writing something angsty I'll put on some Chelsea Wolfe, and I love throwing some Radiohead in the mix too.
If you're someone who can't listen to music with words while you're working, I have a few favorite soundtracks as well — I'm a big fan of Hans Zimmer's original scores, particularly Interstellar and Inception.
What are your favorite songs or genres to listen to while writing? I always love a good recommendation!