Music or Ambient Noise - the Key to Focusing
You know how sometimes, when we sit down to write, our minds just don't seem to want to focus on the task in hand? Sometimes our thoughts flick all over the place and refuse to settle, causing all sorts of difficulties.
When this happens to me I use background music or ambient noise.
Now, I'm not saying this is a cure all, but if focusing is a problem this might be worth a try.
The way I see it, the music or background noise entertains the part of my brain that is trying to flit from thing to thing, so the creative part can get on with the work.
I suspect there are more scientific explanations, but this is the one I like :D.
Of course there are a few provisos.
- We need to make sure we're not listening to our favourite songs - singing along does not help!
- Anything with intrusive or catchy words can be a problem - again, singing along does not help.
- Depending on what we are writing, different music may be appropriate:
- if I am writing a battle I like something fast, with a heavy rock rhythm, something exciting
- if I am writing a love scene or something more thoughtful, I prefer mellow music
For Ambient Noise
- The noise can't be too mellow or it will send us to sleep - seriously, I have found myself dropping off ;).
- Likewise, if the balance of strong sound is incorrect, noises that are too loud may break us out of our concentration.
There are occasions where neither of these work and, frankly, I think the only solution then is to go and have a nice cup of tea and stare at something else for a while.
Assuming everyone has their own stash of music or Spotify or Deezer, here as a couple of ambient noise sites I found, just by googling 'Ambient Noise Generator':
As I said, this might not work for everybody or in every situation, but sometimes I find it bordering on miraculous to help me focus. We're all different, so it might take time to find what is right for each of us, but it's worth a try.
Q: Do you use music or ambient noise to focus? Does it work in all situations for you? Does it not work at all?