Okay, so I have a confession to make.

I can’t listen to music while I’m writing.

I just can’t do it. I get too wrapped up in the lyrics of the song, and my fingers start typing those words instead of the words that are supposed to appear on the screen.

But I do love music, and several songs have deeply affected my writing in various ways.

So I’ve built a little list of my fave songs to share with you and I’ll even offer some categories and commentary below.

I’ll be linking up with the What’s Your Groove? writing playlist link-up over at Christina Hubbard’s place. We’d love to have you join us!



(By the way, even if nobody reads this post or checks out the playlist I put together, I had a blast creating it. The solo dance party that went down in my kitchen while I was waiting for the brownies to cool was totally worth the effort.)

Okay, so here we go.


Here are some categories that songs naturally fall into for me as a Christian writer:


Songs that provide lyrical inspiration:

My Love, by Sara Bareilles: Gorgeous, gorgeous lyrics

Morning Light, by Josh Garrels

Bubble Toes, by Jack Johnson: I almost forgot how much I love this song (and Jack)

You Can Call Me Al, by Paul Simon: Because, of course

Travelin’ Soldier, by Dixie Chicks

Just to See You Smile, by Tim McGraw

Every Breaking Wave, by U2


Songs that energize me:

Brother, by NeedtoBreathe

Waka Waka, by Shakira: (Yes, I included Shakira in my list. What can I say? I lived in Cape Town when this was the theme song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. I can’t help myself.)

I Will Wait, by Mumford & Sons

Greater, by MercyMe

Drift Away, by Dobie Gray


Songs that motivate me to persevere in the writing life (specifically as a Christian writer who writes about heaven as our home):

Storyteller, by Morgan Harper Nichols: “This is the story I’ll tell …”

Messengers, by LeCrae: “Calling all the messengers …”

Where I Belong, by Building 429: “All I know is I’m not home yet, this is not where I belong; Take this world and give me Jesus, this is not where I belong …”

The House that Built Me, by Miranda Lambert

Worn, by Tenth Avenue North

No Man is an Island, by Tenth Avenue North

Take My Life, by Third Day

I Can Only Imagine, by MercyMe

Blessed be Your Name, by Tree63: (I have a strong emotional attachment to this song from a number of different seasons in my life, but for now I’ll just ask: Did you know that Tree63 is a South African band?)

He Will Hold Me Fast, by Keith & Kristyn Getty


I included some others just because. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 


Find my full writing playlist over on Spotify!


What about you? Do you listen to music while you write? What songs have impacted your writing life?


Me too 300

Subscribe to receive the latest posts in your inbox, plus receive a free copy of the e-book, "Me Too," which includes a chapter written by Kate Motaung.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

6 thoughts on “what’s your groove? special edition writing playlist link-up

  1. I’m with you. I can’t listen to music with lyrics when I write. I get caught in the poetry of THEIR words and can’t create my own. I am, however, very partial to listening to classical music, folk music, and movie soundtracks (they were, after all, created to support story with great mounting tension and natural lulls).

    And I was dancing in my seat as my mind filled in the music to the songs on your list. I’m going to have to break out some tunes as soon as I get kids on the bus ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I love this list, especially since it’s a different kind of music than I normally listen to! You have given me inspiration to add my list to the link up but like you I usually need silence to write ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Kate, great playlist. I love how similar and yet different all of our playlists are. Mine is pretty eclectic. But stuff I love listening too. Even through “Single ladies” because I am one and its one of my guilty pleasure songs! ๐Ÿ˜›

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *