Do you ever hear a song that makes you soar above the clouds? For me, a particularly inspiring song usually gets my writer brain going. I can’t listen to music while I write, but I can’t create a story without music. This is how it usually goes:

I got a story idea for my WIP (work in progress) that I loved. But then I got stuck. Who are these characters? What do they want?

While painting a refurbed dresser for my sister I heard NEEDTOBREATHE’s “Clear.” That quickly became my main characters’ love song. I listened to it about thirty-seven times in a row while painting and getting to know Jonathan and Amy.

I was on Highway Fiction, driving straight into the sunset at seventy miles an hour, when I got stuck again. I’ve got the backstory, but how does Amy feel right now?

Sitting in my favorite writer’s chair (aka, the driver’s seat of my minivan with the kids strapped down where they can’t spill or break anything) I heard “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again” by Danny Gokey. Yes! The lyrics beautifully describe what my heroine is going through. I started writing dialogue in my head as I drove.

The storyline cruised along for a bit, but it felt weighted, even a little depressing. Not exactly what we’re looking for in a romance, huh? I tapped into an old favorite, “They Say It’s Love” by Cindy Morgan. That was the perfect background music for Jonathan and Amy’s high school romance. I set it on replay while dreaming up the best time they spent together as teens.

But that’s still backstory, and I still had trouble getting any current day sparks out of them. While dancing with my two-year-old daughter, streamers in hand, we listened to the instrumental version of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” Wah-lah! A scene flashed into my mind. The music is playful and fun and inspired an attraction that will make my characters fall back in love.

Now with my underscore arsenal, I’ve got backstory, depth, romance, fun, and a bunch of great music to enjoy.

What are you listening to right now?


By day, Kelly D. Scott is buried in Excel spreadsheets, which is why she must write.

She graduated from Texas A&M University with a BBA in Accounting and, almost ten years later, she completed her MS in Accounting at UT Dallas. She wrote her first manuscript in 2017 when a photo in People magazine sparked an idea. 130,000 words later, that book is parked safely under her bed.

Kelly resides in the Dallas area with her illustrator husband (whom she met on Eharmony) and her two boys. She has lived in Texas all of her life, except for two and a half years when she was a missionary in China and Thailand. Oh, and she did spend a summer as a missionary in Australia where she learned how to do the Tim Tam slam. When Kelly isn’t writing or lost in Excel, she enjoys reading, cooking, baking, watching football, and spending time with her family. She is a member of ACFW.