Soundless in Seattle

Got sensory processing issues? Dying for a moment of silence while you’re trying to write your novel? Suffering from every possible distraction the outside world throws at you? Have I got a solution for you!

Well, maybe.

I don’t know. But I have a solution for me, and everyone knows that blogs are people talking to themselves and pretending like their advice applies to everyone, anyways. So here’s my deal, and if it’s your deal too, then congrats, you can benefit from my discoveries.

Sound is my number one distraction when I’m trying to focus. Whether it’s writing or studying or reading, if there’s conversation or television, there’s a good chance I’m not going to be getting anything done. Even music is often too much, especially music with words. Trying to write words and listen to them at the same time is the ultimate maddening experience. Instrumental music is okay sometimes, but even that can be a gamble. So, what is an auditory-sensitive kiddo like myself supposed to do? Who will save me from this plight?

Enter the sound of rain.        

Growing up in Florida, rain pattering on the roof was a staple of living, and for me, one of the most soothing sounds to have ever been invented. It’s the child of white noise and a monotone musician, the heir of the uniform/unique throne. Whenever we got a good rain, I would sit out on the porch with my laptop and write, and it would calm my brain right down.

You say, well that’s great, Herb, but what if I want to write when it’s not raining?

Hmmm. Yeah, too bad, huh? I guess you’ll have to move to Seattle if you ever want to finish that novel. If only there were lots and lots of rain soundtracks that you could stick in your ears at any time, available from anywhere, instantly creating a soft, un-distracting barrier between you and the outside world.

PSYCH of course I’ve got those resources queued up for you. Have fun writing in peace, fellow auditory angst pals.

A website that is nothing but a fifteen minute loop of nature rain.

A website that lets you control the ratio of rain sound to background cafe sound.

A Spotify playlist of different rains. (Some of these are too loud or quiet for me, but you can pick and choose from them and put one on repeat if you find one you really like).

White noise Spotify playlist. (I don’t use this because it makes me feel like I’m stuck in a liminal space between life and death where my mentor will appear out of nowhere, probably wearing white, and ask me if I wish to live and finish the fight I definitely didn’t start, or if I want to pass on in peace. But maybe that’s what gets your writing brain going.)

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I'm Em/Herb. MFA Student, fiction writer. Find me on Twitter @masteremdash if you're into gays yelling at the void.

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