Musical Notes

Inspiration is the fuel of a writer.

One of my sister’s lovely photographs that always inspires me

Ideas come from all sorts of sources. Today, I’d like to talk about inspiration from music.

I guess it’s not that surprising that songs can produce ideas in your head, after all, songs are stories told in a lyrical way, with the added dimension of a music score.

As a writer who sings in the shower, I appear to recall an inexhaustible memory bank of songs, many from my teenage years. After singing, I’m forever jumping out from under the water and scribbling a story idea on the first thing to hand – very often a flattened out cardboard toilet roll tube. If I don’t immediately record the idea it tends to fly away like a dream.

I write in my local café at least twice a week very early in the morning. Their piped music seeps into my soul and many times has me whispering to Siri on my phone, ‘What song is this?’, so I can record the title and listen again to the lyrics that have just sparked an idea.

Often after being inspired by a song on the radio, I’m the writer parked in a lay by to write down the idea. Or, as happened last week, when I was listening to loud rock music to keep myself awake on the way to visit mom in hospital, after her health crisis had robbed me of sleep for several nights, I found a track on the journey that started my insides tingling. I played the same song on repeat for the whole journey, as a plot for a whole novel appeared in my head as I listened. I arrived at mom’s bedside, relieved she was still asleep so I could write down the plot before it flew off into the ether.

Some of you may have seen my blog post of 23 December 2015 about a book called Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame. She believes that ideas have their own consciousness and are waiting for the right partner to bring them into the world. I would argue that if this is true, ideas often use music to attract your attention.

What experience have you got of being inspired by music?


This blog post is part of a blog event organised by Elaina James, a fellow writer and member of the RNA. Her author page on Mslexia can be found at

Details of participating bloggers in this event can be found on Elaina James’ website at

By Morton S. Gray

Author of romantic suspense novels.


  1. Thanks for taking part in the blogging event Morton. I’m exactly the same, trying to catch hold of those inspirational ideas and scribble them down before they slip away as quickly as they came.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Music can be inspiring. I’m inspired by lyrical women musicians. Stevie Nicks is a big inspiration to me. I love her stream-of-consciousness lyrics. So is Kate Bush and Sarah McLaughlin. More recently, the Celtic/Indian fusion tunes and fairy-tale like lyrics of Loreena McKennitt have also been an inspiration.



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