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How Playlists and Music Help Fuel My Creative Process

Published on Oct 09, 2018 by Alys Murray

In one of my favorite musicals of all time, Passing Strange, there is a song called "Church Blues Revelation/Freight Train." And that song, written by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, includes one of my favorite lyrics ever written in the English language. It goes as follows:

Music is the freight train in which God travels. Bang! It does its thang and then my soul unravels. Heals like holy water and it fights all my battles. Music is the freight train in which God travels.

And ever since I first heard this lyric at the tender age of fifteen (eight whole years ago, because I'm now, as my fifteen year old self would have said, so old) I've believed it to be true. I believe that God (and the things I think he stands for, like love and goodness, forgiveness and hope, peace and faith, etc.,) does travel to us and communicate through us, and it can completely unravel our souls.

Which is why I take music so seriously when it comes to my writing. Because my books (romance novels) are so deeply intertwined with ideals of love and hope, I want my soul to be as unravelled as possible when I'm writing it, which means finding the perfect music to do that unravelling.

I've seen some literary types on twitter who bemoan "those lady writers" who spend hours perfecting their pinterest boards for their books or finding just the right kind of tea or scented candle to get them in the writing mood, and that really bums me out because it's clear that these kinds of people don't get it.

Making art is hard. And sometimes, being in the presence of art (whether that's something as simple as a candle or complex as an aria) is enough to give us the courage to keep going with that difficult endeavor. Listening to the perfect playlist prepares me to create. It transports me to the world I'm meant to be writing in. It makes me braver.

It unravels my soul.

If you're interested in the kind of music that unravels my soul, I've embedded the spotify playlist for my upcoming release, The Christmas Company (available for paperback and e-book pre-order on Amazon, B&N, Indiebound, and The Ripped Bodice now, also available in Target and Walmart on October 16th) down below. These were the songs I'd listen to in order to hear my novel's voice, and I hope it gets you in the mood for some Christmas Magic.

Listen to my playlist for The Christmas Company here!

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