The Places You’ll Go: 6 Songs From Author Adam Kovac That Will Inspire Your Writing Journey

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder

By Adam Kovac

I wrote a novel called The Listening Post. It’s about a wounded veteran who gets called up from the reserves and sent to Iraq. The book is not based on my experience in Iraq or in Afghanistan. Still, I couldn’t have written the story without having been through the experience. The Listening Post is unpublished, but perhaps that’s a good thing. I never intended to write about the war, at least not for my first novel. But a writer doesn’t always get to choose his or her subject.

Full confession: I can’t write to music. If I did, I’d never put a word on paper. It’s the same with the silence of the library or home. Instead, my writing soundtrack is comprised of coffee shop noises—the grinders, that gizmo that whips the milk and the conversation of strangers.

That’s why I was thrilled and confounded when Daniel Ford asked me to contribute a music list for Writer’s Bone. A moment that reminded me of my days as a newspaper reporter, when we’d play a game at press conferences called, “Stump the Chump.” But I do like music before writing or after I’ve shut down the laptop for the day.

Here’s a selection that gets my juices flowing, helps me plow through those tough times. I hope you enjoy. Thanks for letting me share.

“The Greatest Man That Ever Lived,” by Weezer

Writing’s a tough business and this is your anthem.

“Superstition,” by Stevie Wonder

Rejection, critics, and self-doubt cannot defeat you.

“Gigantic” by The Pixies

Remember the last time you wrote something absolutely huge.

“Ghost of Stephen Foster,” by Squirrel Nut Zippers

And don’t be afraid if the story takes you to strange places…

“Up the Wolves,” by The Mountain Goats

…because you’ll make out okay.

“The Laughing Heart,” by Charles Bukowski (read by Tom O’Bedlam)

Yes, my friend. You are truly marvelous.

Learn more about Adam Kovac by following him on Twitter @Boondock60mm.

If any authors, writers, or musicians are interested in submitting a post for consideration, email or tweet us@WritersBone.

For more writing playlists, check out our full archive