Guest Post: Ky Grabowski: How Music Influences my Writing

Shannon again (only for a second…again) Many of you know Ky Grabowski, author of The Demon Inside, which is officially available on Amazon and Goodreads. (I hope you check them out.) But she’s talking about music influencing her writing today. So without further ado:

How Music Influences my Writing


I first off want to thank Shannon for allowing me to guest blog! I adore her, and am so happy to call her a friend. I’m a huge fan of hers and it took me so long to muster up the courage to finally comment on her site. I’m thankful I did – she’s helped me grow as a writer with her experiences and tips.

I’m Ky by the way! I always forget to tell people who I am, though most of the time you can find me dancing in grocery stores and speaking with a British accent. I’m often called a free spirit and am always saying the weirdest things, I love life and often wind up broadcasting it to everyone I met.

However today, I’ll be a professional and share something that I’ve wanted too for a while. I never could find the right time and for some unknown reason when I tried to write how music influences writing before it ended up in the trash.

It seems this post was waiting for the talented Shannon to share, and I couldn’t be happier to share this with her. I have the utter most respect for Shannon; she’s a mentor to me in my writing. I guess I should shut up now… Man, I ramble a lot – pardon me!

Music has always been a part of my life even before I was born. My mother sung when I was a child and my father played in a band that travelled around Canada. My father was a very talented man, along with his brothers.

Music was in the blood.

I however didn’t inherit the natural talent for the drums, guitar or even bass as much as I wanted to. I found love with the piano but was never able to continue learning. Though I know how to play Twinkle Little Star – I’ve never forgotten how, needless to say I feel secretly badass because of it.

Where did I fit in with my musical family? Not in the front row that’s for sure. Instead I collected music over the years and found where I belonged among the music. I was meant to enjoy the sounds people created and no matter where I go even today – I think about what music might be playing in my current situation.

Music has influenced my writing because 99% of the time I have to hear the sounds of the scene I’m writing. Music allows me to fully emerge myself in my writing. I feel what I hear and transport those feelings into words.

It’s very therapeutic. I always feel so emotionally involved in writing when I have music at my side. Music has given me the ability to create stories and complete them. It has a way of bringing forth a new way to write for me, and breaks down walls that might prevent me from writing certain topics.

If I’m struggling with a romantic scene I have to put myself in the shoes of my character. I’ve never been in love but I’ve felt love, and when I listen to romantic songs I try to believe in what the character is supposed to believe in. It’s a strange, fun and interesting experience to go through.

There’s this trust between the music and I.

Writing with music has also allowed me to learn new techniques. What could I possibly learn from music to help me in writing? Songs have a neat way of putting you into certain moods. Have you ever listened to a sad song and felt kind of gloom? Or a happy – upbeat song that makes you want to dance?

That’s what I use to help the flow of my writing continue. I listen to songs that will help me understand a scene I’m trying to write. I close my eyes and picture the scene through the lyrics, the sounds, and take it all in.

It’s almost as if I’m being thrown into a movie that my minds created with a song. It also gives me the chance to see how the scene might play out by following the song.

Something else that music has helped me learn is how to create a scene. If I know that the story is heading into a certain direction I’ll create a playlist based on the emotions. If the character is supposed to rise above failure, fall in love or lose hope etc I listen to songs and put together the playlist to help me achieve what I need too.912169_239210579569211_1265159785_n

In The Demons Inside, a short story I wrote that AEC Stellar Publishing is featuring in an upcoming anthology; music was heavily apart of the story. This experience was a bit different than the other times I wrote because of the character and their story.

I had to create different worlds that the main character would find herself in, and it all happens so quickly. In my mind the music had to make me feel lost, confused and rushed. It was a very Alice in Wonderland kind of experience, where the deeper I went – the farther I was from normality.

It turned out very well and through that I learned some great things about changing how I write, especially when writing in first person. I couldn’t write from an outsider’s point of view and explain the feelings. I truly had to believe what the character was going through and become that character.

Music is a great tool in writing. It’s simple to use and a great way to unlock those creative doors.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GrabowskiKy

Website / Blog: http://kygrabowski.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KyGrabowski

13 thoughts on “Guest Post: Ky Grabowski: How Music Influences my Writing

  1. This is a great idea for a blog post. I feel that personally, music greatly affects the way I write. That is not only because of the music itself, but also because the events occurring in my life affect the music I listen to, which then affect my writing. I think it’s interesting that the music you’re listening to affect the tone of your writing. Music has such a direct impact on the way we write.

  2. Reblogged this on Ky Grabowski and commented:
    I’m so happy I was able to visit Shannon and her wonderful blog again. I’m thankful for her kindness and offering me the chance to blog again. This time I wrote about how music influences my writing: I hope you enjoy and maybe even learn something new! Music is a fantastic tool to use, cheers!

  3. Nice post. I can think of a couple of things that I’ve learned from music as a writer.

    One is character – a good character-based song, like Eminem’s ‘Stan’ or Hayes Carll’s ‘She Left Me For Jesus’, has to get a lot of character into a few words. It means that you get to hear some great examples of character voice and careful word selection.

    The other is pacing – the pauses and crescendos of music have helped me understand the need for less intense moments between the action and emotional highs, to vary the tone and let the audience gather their breath.

    I struggle to write while listening to anything with lyrics, but listening to the right music beforehand really helps set the tone for my work.

    1. Hey 🙂

      That’s awesome that music has helped you learn things as a writer. I love those examples and songs you shared! It’s so neat to see that music helps other writers too.

  4. Hello Shannon and Ky! I find that music can be a great tool for a writer. When I’m really struggling with a scene, I crank up the music and let it speak through my fingers. I wish both of you luck with your writing!

    1. Woot! Gotta love blaring that music 🙂
      I just love the stories songs can tell.

      Thank you, good luck as well 🙂

    1. Yes! I keep a playlist myself, at least now. It helps to go back and remember what inspired me before.

      Cheers :]

  5. This is so crazy, because I was just thinking about how music influences my writing. I guess sometimes things just kind of fit into place. Once you are in that mood, man, there is no stopping you. It’s fantastic. I was thinking about even certain videos and movies how they cue the music and add all kinds of sound effects and it immediately effects you. As a matter of fact I am getting ready to make a play list and a book trailer for one of my books. Music adds that extra something! Thanks for posting.

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