I find it almost impossible to get any writing done when I’m sitting in complete silence. Writing is an extremely lonely activity and something about sitting in silence amplifies that loneliness and distracts me.
But writing with the TV on or with music playing is equally as distracting. Some people listen to podcasts or albums while they write and I’ll immediately label them as sorcerers because that seems impossible. Some people listen to familiar albums on repeat while they write. That familiarity must allow their minds to anticipate all of the beats and lyrics and essentially tune them out.
I just can’t do the lyric thing. I’ve dabbled with listening to eletronica and other music that has no lyrics, but it just doesn’t do it for me.
The one thing that does seem to work for me is ambient noise. Right now, my favorite app is Coffitivity which recreates the ambient sounds of a coffee shop. There’s no music or lyrics. It’s just the mindless background noise you’d hear sitting in a coffee shop. Most of my best work is done in coffee shops so this is the next best thing and I much prefer this ambient noise over those apps that reproduce the sounds of running water or wind blowing. Those are nice, but they don’t exactly break up the feeling of loneliness.
At least with this app, I can kind of sort of pretend that I’m not sitting in a tiny room by myself making stuff up with my head.