Ambient Sound Recommendations to Improve Your Writing Day

Hey folks! Last week we discussed the benefits of using ambient sounds and I admitted I’m terrible at following my own advice (I regularly watch TV while writing instead of using tools like ambient sounds to boost my focus). But today, I wanted to share three resources for those of you who want to give ambient sounds a try. These are all resources I have personally used for both writing and for setting the mood while DM’ing a D&D game (so dungeon masters, listen up!).

Online Resources

Rainy Mood

This site is by and large my favorite. It plays the sound of rain, and as a pluviophile, I love putting it on as white noise in the background.

Coffivity

This is another one that’s fun. For free, it lets you choose from three different coffee house settings to give you some ambient noise. Especially good for right now to make you feel like you’re sitting in your favorite coffee shop. All you need is a fresh cup for yourself, and you’re all set!

Ambient Mixer

This one is also fun. There are so. Many. Choices. And you can search for specific atmospheres you’re looking for. I know there’s also a way to make your own mixes, but I’ve never played with that part of the site.

Apps for your Phone

There are also a couple apps I have on my phone for those times when I’m not connected to the internet on my computer. Rainy Mood has an app with some free ambient noise for you, the Rainy Mood Lite app. There’s also Relax Forest that I really love, which has a whole bunch of forest tracks for you to listen to for free. I run on Android, so I can’t promise these are also on iOS. But if you can get them, they are fantastic!

YouTube

I linked my own personal playlist of writing sounds, but there are so many. Just search for whatever setting you’re working in, and voila! Instant atmosphere.

Final Thoughts

Ambient sounds are a great way to focus, and today I’ve shared some of my favorite tools (psst, they can also double as ways to set the mood for events like parties). If you have a favorite I haven’t mentioned, feel free to let me know about it in the comments! Or if you’ve tried one of these and hate it, let me know that, too!

Either way, I hope you found the last couple weeks useful, and I’ll see you next time!

The Benefits of Ambient Sounds for Creativity

Hey folks! So this is going to be one of those “do as I say, not as I do” kinds of posts. I’m going to talk a little bit about how ambient sounds can improve your writing process (notice I said CAN, as this doesn’t work for everyone…but it’s something to try as you experiment with your own methods!). But I will also be the first to admit that I only use ambient sounds sometimes because I am very, very distractable.

Let’s dig in!

Improving Focus

The biggest reason I’d personally give for using ambient sounds is to improve your focus. I tend to watch TV while writing (I know, I know…cut me some slack, I work full time and have lots of TV to catch up on and only evenings and weekends to do it!), but if I really need to buckle down and get stuff done, throwing on a pair of noise-canceling headphones and selecting some ambient noise can really help me put my mind to the task.

I’ve found that using sounds can reduce my impulses to check my email and social media obsessively (I have a really bad habit of that) and pull me into the story and the story alone. By limiting what is going into my ears, I’m limiting what my brain is doing and preventing the attention splitting so I can work just on the story.

Writing Habits

This next point is really similar to the first. Besides helping to improve focus, using ambient sounds can help get you into the mood for writing more quickly as part of a pre-writing or writing ritual. You may have heard about this before, but it’s part of conditioning yourself to work and your mind to think about writing.

Think of it this way: when you use specific sounds or scents regularly with a specific activity (like a particular candle or ambient sound), those things begin to be associated in your mind. In this way, when you light that candle or turn on that track, your brain settles into writing mode much more quickly because it knows what usually comes with those sensations.

Setting the Mood

Finally, ambient sounds are awesome for setting the mood-something that can apply to both readers and writers (writers, you may even want to suggest the ambient sounds you used to your readers as part of a book soundtrack).

Choosing the right sounds can really help you get into the heart of your book, feel like you’re in the setting, and set the tone. This can also help to improve your focus and get you into the story much faster.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully by now you’re seeing how closely these three points are linked…ambient sounds do so much with so little! These are just a few quick tips for why ambient sounds may benefit your writing (or reading) process. Next week I’ll share a few of my favorites, including some online sites, offline apps, and a YouTube playlist I have for myself.

But until then, how do you feel about using sounds during your reading or writing? Do you love it? Hate it? Are you like me and know you should use it more but don’t, or do you find it doesn’t do anything to help you? Let me know in the comments below or over on Twitter!

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