Our summer ended with a trio of crises. The car stalled, and despite multiple expensive trips to the dealer, we couldn’t fix it. The dog ate a pile of stones, and even though we tried to save the little guy, he didn’t make it. Then the sewer backed up into our basement, filling it with water and then sewage. Thankfully, the local roto-rooter® guy cleared the drain, and my sweet husband took on the job of cleaning up.
In the midst of all this, I’ve been writing. For the most part, writing is a respite for me—the place where I go to deal with the figurative and literal crap of daily life. But in the past few months, I’ve had my share of writing challenges as well. Often, it seems like I’ve barely pushed “send” on a query, and a rejection pops into my inbox. Yikes.
Over the weekend, I realized I needed someone to tell me to keep writing. That someone showed up in my Monday morning workout—in the form of my playlist. We all know that exercise improves our mental and physical health. But did you know that listening to music also makes you happier? Research by the University of Missouri shows that listening to upbeat music can immediately lift our mood and, over a two-week period of regular listening, increase our general feelings of well being.
Sometimes life sucks—so we write. But the writing life isn’t always easy. If you’re a writer, you’re going to face days when the work goes poorly. You’ll have days when you’re so busy writing, you barely have time to eat. But you’ll have other days when there’s no work, and you wonder if anyone will pay you for your work again. You’ll get accepted but you’ll also get rejected more times than you can imagine. While you’ll have some fans, other people will hate what you write, or worse—ignore it. You may even lose friends over the endeavor. In the moments when you want to give up or give in, take a walk and listen to my writing inspiration playlist. These are some of the songs that keep me writing. I hope they remind you to, “follow your arrow wherever it points” (Follow Your Arrow by Kacey Musgroves).
Believe in yourself.
Gold by Britt Nicole
And don’t let anybody tell you that you’re not enough
Yeah there are days that we all feel like we’re messed up
But the truth is that we’re all diamonds in the rough
You’ve got stories to share with the world.
Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is, where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten, Yeah
Not sure what to write next? Listen to your gut.
Compass by Lady Antebellum
So let your heart, sweet heart
Be your compass when you’re lost
And you should follow it wherever it may go
Let Your Soul be Your Pilot by Sting
When the map you have leads you to doubt
When there’s no information
And the compass turns to nowhere that you know well
Let your soul be your pilot
Rejected? Try again.
Fight Outta You by Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals
Don’t believe the headlines,
check it for yourself sometimes,
don’t let them take the fight outta you
Do It Anyway by Martina McBride
You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway
I Dare You to Move by Switchfoot
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor…
Like today never happened
We need you and your story.
Let Your Light Shine by Keb’ Mo’
No one else could do what you do.
Get out of the way
Let your light shine.
Your turn: What songs inspire you to write? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!