My Writing Ritual Playlist

In order to create what you love, you need to be your very best mentally, physically, and emotionally. You need to eat the right foods, get exercise, and get at least seven to eight of hours a sleep a night. That’s a given. The old stories of writers living off of whiskey, cigarettes, and two minutes sleep are as long dead as the writers themselves no matter how powerful the works were that they left behind. We need to take care of the engine in order to run the train.

Our habits help this process. Get yourself into the right frame of mind, and you not only get your conscious mind in the right groove but more importantly you get your unconscious mind running good as well, which is the wellspring of your creativity and ideas.

I made a playlist for my routine. Songs evoke our emotions and our memory. That’s why there are such things as happy and sad songs. This means they are perfect triggers. Once you create a habit with a song, play it and your mind will begin to do the work to for you. Also, a playlist is great because it’s portable. No more will you be shackled to an outside environment. Click the play button and you can write anywhere you want.

This is my playlist:

The specifics are not important. You should craft the playlist to your own tastes, but remember to craft it to the purpose it serves. Have a fun track to remind you that this is a type of play, creating worlds from words. Make it childish, like my track one. Have a prep track where you’re still milling around online, like my track two. You can write with any music you like, but I would recommend something without lyrics (your unconscious mind speaks in poetry; listen to it). Then have a cool down track. Then a journaling track. Whatever you want. Be creative and fun! And finally, at the end, have a happy track again to remind you that you did a good job.

Do this often enough and it may even help you through a dry spell, the dreaded writer’s block. Either way, play your playlist through thick and thin, and it’ll supply you with the right motivation.

Here’s a break down of my tracks and their purpose:

Happy to be alive and doing what I love track:

Track 1. Little Plastic Castle by Ani Difranco

Getting ready to write track:

Track 2. Echo by Joe Satriani

Freewriting track:

Track 3. Versperae Solennes De Confessore, K 339- Laudate Dominum by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Writing track:

Track 4. Red Noise by Sound Dreamer

Release track:

Track 5. Venus Movement by Gustav Holst

Reflection and Journaling of Kudos and Progress Made track:

Track 6. Nothing Else Matters by Metallica

Writing Mojo track:

Track 7. Advice from Stephen King

Happy to be alive and doing what I love track:

Track 8. That’s Some Dream by Good Old War


Create and complete, Wolf pack! 🐺

P.s. check out this awesome podcast episode of Conversations with Tom featuring Chase Jarvis HERE! It’s a great episode about creativity.

A Monday Breakfast In River North

Throughout the week, through all the stress and the busyness, I take a moment out of the day to write down some details about the environment around me. I’ll be posting them here every Monday.

A German man with a speech impediment talks about his hometown. Continue reading “A Monday Breakfast In River North”

Saturday Inspiration

“After a hundred or something films, I’m constantly insecure. But here’s the hitch: it’s okay to fail, to feel insecurely, doubting yourself, finding confidence, and moving forward, and then doubting what you’ve just done. I think this is the life of the composer and this is the life of the artist.”

— Danny Elfman

This is such a profound statement to make, and I don’t think it’s been said nearly enough—professionals still struggle! Continue reading “Saturday Inspiration”

NaNo Diary Entry: 7 Days In

After 7 days of NaNoWriMo, I’m just under the average at 13,780 words.


I got to say, it’s cool writing a novel in a coffee shop. Continue reading “NaNo Diary Entry: 7 Days In”

Impressions of a Snowy Day in October

Throughout the week, through all the stress and the busyness, I take a moment out of the day to write down some details about the environment around me. I’ll be posting them here every Monday.

Snow heavy branches dip in my path as I walk to the store. Continue reading “Impressions of a Snowy Day in October”

You Are All Writing Warriors

As a special treat for NaNoWriMo writers and supporters, I’m doing a second inspirational quote this Saturday. I love this book and highly recommend it to all of my fellow warriors. Continue reading “You Are All Writing Warriors”

Saturday Inspiration

We could always use words of wisdom, more so the words themselves to inspire our own. We need to read of courage so we can write of our own. Every Saturday I’ll be posting my favorite quote to help us (and me) be the best artists we can be. Continue reading “Saturday Inspiration”

Impressions on a Saturday Train

Throughout the week, through all the stress and the busyness, I take a moment out of the day to write down some details about the environment around me. I’ll be posting them here every Monday.

A butterfly wobbles on the air a meter above the train tracks. I hear the rumble of the approaching red line.

Inside, the air smells slightly of feces

The young man has small lips; when he smiles his pudgy cheeks shows a youthful glee.

The black woman’s feet pressed into her flats look like an old chipped leather bag.

The boy next to me, fashionably dressed, is asleep, his eyes closed behind his $100 sunglasses, his lips closed and puffed out to kiss the awaiting goddess of his dreams.

Two lovers hover over the one’s phone like two kids peering over a ledge.

A young man in a Cubs hat and wearing a jacket with a green alien symbol on it rests his arms on a weathered brown leather briefcase. (I look at the black woman’s leathery feet to see if the metaphor holds; it does.)

There’s something odd about the way the young man in front of me sips his coffee. I ignore everyone and watch him—he lifts his arm up, the tops of his fingers parallel with the floor. I miss the act because a person passes in front of me. I wait again. He does it again and this time I see it and see nothing strange. But there’s a hint of strangeness still. I wait. The train car stops. He checks his phone. Then he lifts his hand, his arm following. And then I see his fingers curled down instead of curled tight around the circumference of the paper cup. Like bird’s wings spread halfway, the tips of the feathers pointing down. This means he is holding the cup by the sheer integrity of his thumb and forefinger, with the other three digits merely for show. It is an elegant, almost precocious act, now that I notice his age is younger than I thought. He knows none of this.

The cautious weary eyes of a middle aged white women getting on a city train for the second time. Her first time was when she was ten.

The blue-green-grey-white camouflaged book bag of the black woman resting against her high thigh. She reaches down and scratches her leathery foot.