Whether you’re writing a novel, screenplay, or essay, there are times when the creative juices will temporarily stop flowing. A great way to get a strike of inspiration? Listening to a great movie score. However, not just any movie soundtrack will do. It’s best to avoid songs with lyrics, since they’ll likely distract you from forming sentences of your own. But a purely instrumental score will help create the right atmosphere for your writing project.

It’s also important to recognize your own tastes and habits when picking out a score to listen to. Are you motivated by sweeping, epic scores that fill you with swelling emotion? Then you should check out something from The Theory of Everything. Or would you rather listen to a minimalist, reflective score that makes you sit with your thoughts? If that’s the case, then a track from Moonlight would be a better fit. Those who are empowered by fast-paced, exciting scores will be drawn to the feverish synthesizers of Good Time. Below, you’ll find the best movie scores for writing, ranging from soft and contemplative to bold and in-your-face.

From period pieces to sci-fi epics, these movies have amazing scores that make the perfect soundtrack for a day of writing at home, the office, or your favorite coffee shop. These scores have the power to transport you to another location, or simply to another headspace. Simply pull out the notepad (or laptop), press play on one of these instrumental soundtracks, and let the writing begin.

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