What Do You Listen To While Writing?

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I can’t stand absolute silence when I write. I have to have some kind of sound in the background–an open window on a rainy day is my favorite, but I don’t live in a climate of eternal rain.

I have trouble writing to any music with lyrics–my singing training basically makes me sing along in my head–so I’m sometimes jealous when I see other writers post their superb writing playlists that match a certain mood or story. Those are fun to listen to when I’m doing other things, but they just don’t work for me when I write.

Back in college, I relied heavily on remixed instrumental video game music from my favorite games. I think I wrote an entire NaNoWriMo novel just to stuff from Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross. (Thank you, OverClocked Remix.)

As my video-game playing decreased, though, I moved on to other sources. Rain is always going to be one of my favorites, and I used to listen to RainyCafe a lot, though with the cafe sounds turned down or off–I’m not a coffee shop person, I find that many people moving around too distracting. For a more relaxed mood, I also like Jazz and Rain, which, as you might expect from the name, is jazz music and rain sounds.

My newest favorite, though, is myNoise. Many different soundscapes are available for free, all with adjustable sliders for the individual sounds that comprise them; and many of those also offer a calibration mode, where you perform a brief test to determine your personal levels across different frequencies, then save it to apply to the offered sounds.

Today, though, I finally donated $5 to help support the site (since I like it so much) and discovered how many more soundstreams available to donors! (A one-time donation unlocks these for life, though continued support is of course an option.) I’m not being compensated to advertise for the site, I’m just impressed and want to share.

What other sound resources are out there? Which ones do you find yourself using again and again? Leave your favorites in the comments and I’ll put together a master list!

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