Moved by Music

We blog for a million different reasons, but in the end, we’re all storytellers. Creative Writing Challenges are here to…

Image by AKZOphoto (CC BY 2.0).

We blog for a million different reasons, but in the end, we’re all storytellers. Creative Writing Challenges are here to help you push your writing boundaries and explore new ideas, subjects, and writing styles.

To participate, tag your post with DPchallenge and include a link to this post, to generate a pingback and help others find the challenges. Please make sure your post has been specifically written in response to this challenge. We’ll highlight some of our favorites on Freshly Pressed on Friday, and in our monthly newsletter.

When I hear songs that remind me of particular moments or years of my life, I get chills. The genre doesn’t matter: it could be the voice of Blondie’s frontwoman Debbie Harry — sampled into KRS-One’s “Step into a World” — which reminds me of college, smoky basements, and underground hip hop shows:


Or it could be Santana’s “Black Magic Woman,” which played all the time on my parents’ stereo when I was little. I’m not a fan of the song, but its intro is ingrained in my head. And every time I hear it, I’m reminded of my father.

Music is powerful: it conjures memories, emotions, and people and things of the past. It’s not only a trigger, but an outlet to express who we are. For this challenge, pick one song and write about it — or use it as inspiration for a post. The track may be personally meaningful, or remind you of something, someone, or some event you can look back on. Or maybe you’re drawn to a song’s lyrics and want to use them as a springboard for a short piece of fiction. Or a poem. Or a free-write.

None of those ideas appeal to you? Pick a musician, band, or composer and write about how their music has moved or changed you; or a piece of criticism or commentary, if that’s more your tune. (We dig Dischordant Forms‘ recent post remembering Lou Reed, about his unlikely collaboration with Metallica.)

Add the audio

If you’re up for it, search for your song on communities like SoundCloud, Spotify, and Rdio and embed the track into your post (you can read the steps to embed from SoundCloudSpotifyRdio, and in other ways). You might find your song on YouTube and can embed the video in your post instead.

Embedding audio isn’t mandatory for this challenge, but it allows your readers to hear the song that inspired you — without leaving your blog.

So, let’s hear it! Some ideas to get you started:

  • A song that triggers a memory.
  • A song that symbolizes a person, a place, or past relationship.
  • A song that represents you — that you could consider as your “intro music.”
  • Song lyrics that speak to you.
  • Lyrics that inspire you to write a short story or other musings.
  • Your favorite song — and why.
  • A musician, band, composer, etc. whose music has affected or changed you.
  • Commentary on a musician, band, or genre.
  • An album review.

We look forward to reading — and hearing — what you publish!

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  1. Предлагаю в этой теvме собирать новые фильмы и делиться ссылками где их можно посмотреть, чтобы долго не рыться в гуглах и яндексах.
    Вот мои топ 3 этого года:
    1. Гадкий я 2
    2. Тихоокеанский рубеж
    3. Призрачный патруль


  2. This is a great idea! Everyday I see ways that music moves people and creates beautiful changes. I have shared my own recent experience. Thanks for sharing everyone!


  3. Not sure how this all works in terms of adding links etc…just written my first blog on my newly created website today! I just wanted to tell you about a song by Toni Braxton called “Unbreak My Heart”. Nine years ago I bought the CD and replayed the song all day..that evening my mother telephoned me to say she was dying of Leukemia and had 3 months to live..she in fact died 3 days later..At the very moment of the phone call I had to leave the house and take my son to play a major part in a theatre production..he was 11… So that song conjures up for me very mixed emotions of my mother’s last days and my son’s proud achievement…


  4. Hi, Cheri, I thought about a song I love, The lyrics was written by Tagore. The song is in Bengali, if I translate it and post it, will it be acceptable? I can find the song on Youtube and embed it.


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