If you listen to music regularly, certain songs will forever become associated with certain events in your life. I tend to go through cycles, when specific songs will go through a heavy rotation for days and days, sometimes even weeks, at which point I suddenly decide I just can’t listen to it anymore. I’ll kill it from my active playlists and drop it into the abyss of my music library. And some songs just kind of hang around–a year later I’ll still be listening to it every once in a while.
I can’t write without listening to something, anything. Right now it’s sports radio while the Canucks are on their run, but usually it’s music. When I was writing The Assignment, I listened to a lot of Eminem, Arcade Fire, Kings of Leon, some Drake, The Killers, Metric.
Sometimes it’s the mood you need to create, which might dictate what you listen to. But for me, it’s just enjoying the song. I usually run to the same songs, too, though I know for some runners they need a heavy beat, or something uptempo.