Music Inspiring Writing: Dahlia DeWinters

by Emerian Rich

Welcome to my blog series all about how ♫ Music Inspires Writing ♫

Today my guest is Dahlia DeWinters, a writer and music lover.

Music as Ins

by Dahlia DeWinters

Ah, music.  The melodies that soothe the savage beasts, inspire poems by moonlight and raise babies’ IQs, right? But really, how powerful is a song?  Being a woman of a certain age, I was raised on seventies and eighties music. When they play those songs on the oldies’ station, I can remember sitting by the radio, fingers poised over the “record and play” buttons, waiting for Casey Kasem to stop talking over the introduction of the song I wanted to record.

From the American Songbook to Elvis to The Beatles to Public Enemy and beyond, I will listen to it all.  In my head, there are only two kinds of music…good and bad.  I don’t pigeonhole my musical tastes by genre, by age or by whatever, because you never know when you’ll find the piece that inspired.

As a writer, I’ve found that music helps push you in writing.  If I’ve been working on a scene and feel that I’m not getting it just right, I click over to my playlists, which I’ve had the wherewithal to label “Love”, “Angst” and “Anger” among other emotive descriptors.  One click, a glance at my scribbled notes, and soon I’m on my way, typing away on the scene on which I was stuck.

Or at least, that’s the way it works in my head….that is not always the reality.

DD_ATD2_OneMoreForTheRoad_coverinNevertheless, music does pave the way for ideas, inspiration and the odd thought that pops into one’s head at odd times.  Thank goodness for the notes app on my phone.

So, let me share with you a little of my magical, musical process.

Starry-eyed romance, whew.
  With these songs, it’s the lyrics that grab me the most.  Just that one perfect line can make the song.  For example:

Hey, Soul Sister –  Train. “The smell of you in every single dream I dream…”

Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol. “All that I ever was/Is here in your perfect eyes, they’re all I can see..”

The One –  Elton John.  “When stars collide, like you and I….no shadow blocks the sun…”

Waiting for You –  Seal. “There has been no one brighter than you/I can’t deny these things that I do/Feels like the world’s at stake, yeah/I have been waiting/I have been waiting for you….”

And from the American Songbook:  All the Things You Are (Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II). “You are the promised kiss of springtime that makes the lonely winter seem long…..You are the angel glow that lights a star…..the dearest things that I know are what you are….” I prefer the Sinatra version.

Combine those words with the powerful music, and how can you not get all gooey inside?

Angst.  Oh, the visions of teenagers clutching pillows and crying until their chest aches.  I don’t usually have angst…but when I need it, here are my go-to groups/songs.

Sounds of Silence- Disturbed

So Lonely – The Police

Love is a Battlefield – Pat Benatar (also, Promises in the Dark)

Separate Ways – Journey

All by Myself – Eric Carmen

All Cried Out – Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam

Wicked Game – HIM

Twilight Zone – Golden Earring

Fight/High Energy Scenes?  I got you.

Mama Said Knock  You Out – LL Cool J

Land of Confusion – Genesis and/or Disturbed

We’re Not Gonna Take it – Twisted Sister

Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2 – Pink Floyd

Rebel Yell – Billy Idol

Fight the Power  – Public Enemy

DahliaDeWintersHeadshotOf course, I’ve got tons more, but this post is to give you just a taste of what inspires me, moves me, motivates me.  Like what you read and want to read more?  Certainly you do!  Check me out at!



Thank you Dahlia for sharing your thoughts!

So what music inspires you to write? Share yours in the comments below and tune in here next time when one of my friends shares their music inspirations.