Monday, August 10, 2015

The Silence of White Noise

By Darren Kehrer

No matter what genre you write, we all have one thing in common as writers (besides using words, that is): we all write within an environment: a physical place we do our writing:

  • an office
  • a coffee shop
  • the local mall
  • at our primary "day" job (but on our lunch hour, of course).
  • an outdoor setting
......the list is endless with many combinations and variations.

Where you write can directly impact your daily writing routine, inspire new ideas, but can also help or hinder your writing process.

For me, I must have some kind of background noise...most preferably music... that reflects the story or genre I am writing. An environment of silence only hinders my writing process. On the other hand, I sometimes like writing at a Panera, McDonald's, or similar location. The background activity of those environments serves to create a white noise environment that causes me to focus more on what I'm writing. Oddly enough, I've even observed people and their interactions that often inspires an idea that I can use in my writing.

I do, however, prefer to write to music. Given that fact, I find myself combining those two concepts. The music fuels the ideas in my head, and the visual hustle-and-bustle serves as visual white noise. In conjunction, both serve to maximize my writing time and results.

What about you? Where do you like to write? Do you write in silence, to music, or some combination?


  1. I find music distracting, preferring mostly quiet. Whenever someone is making noise in the house or a lawn mower is buzzing around outside my home office window, I go to rain videos from YouTube. Sometimes gentle rain and sometimes a hard rain with all the thunder I can find!

  2. I sometimes enjoy music, but I can also write to silence--for a while. If the house stays too quiet for too long, I need to go to a restaurant where life swirls around me as I create.

  3. I write either way - music or no - although in some situations the music really helps create the images in my head - this is why someone created looping and repeat. Otherwise, I best create in the open. There's just something about outdoor ambient noises and sights - hearing leaves rustle, watching shadows caused by clouds, or water sparkle that stirs my creativity. And yes, Jean Kavich Bloom, rainstorms are really effective as long as the computer battery lasts. Good question Darren - 3 responses. Wohoo!

  4. Instrumental music in my genre can help jump start a writing session for me. I've found, though, that once I'm fully into a scene I don't "hear" anything but what I'm writing. Good post, Darren.

  5. It's amazing to me how the music you listen to can affect what you write. I sometimes play music just to see what it inspires on the movie screen in my head. I just start writing what I see...