I’ve mentioned before that I love to write in silence, but that wasn’t fully true. Most of the time you will find me sitting on my windowsill, curled up with my laptop tapping away on the keys with the flow of my mental thoughts… but sometimes I put on ambient noise to give me some sense of movement or sound.
When I was young I was inclined to listen to screamo or hard metal when I wrote. There would be music, tempo, and all-in-all sound that didn’t have any distinctive words that would work their way into my work. As I got older I found it harder to concentrate when I had someone from Norway screaming incoherently in my ear… so I moved on to other kinds of ‘music’.
My first introduction to ambient music was probably at age 14 when I was on a road trip with my parents through Eastern Canada. Maritime trips with my parents were one of the biggest influences on me in both what I write, the history I love, and the music I listen to now. I remember picking up a CD with Shanty music – which I do say I did become overly obsessed with. On this shanty CD there was one song that was just ocean waves and people on the beach. It was so relaxing and helpful in developing my mind to imagine pictures of the scene, which has helped me be able to visualize my writing.
It was later when YouTube grew in popularity that I began to collect ambient noise on playlists to listen while I wrote, and now I’ve even discovered some amazing sites that I waste a lot of time on. One ambient noise I listen to the most is the rain. I honestly don’t know why I like the sound of rain. Maybe it is due to it being nature’s white noise? As it washes away the filth is washes away what burdens you have in your mind. It acts as a curtain cutting off the busyness of your mind to allow you to focus on what you find important. Maybe I love the sound of water because I was born Pisces – although I don’t find that a likely reason? Whatever it is, it doesn’t really matter. I know that rain helps me focus my mind and that’s all I need to know.
If you enjoy listening to ambient noises while you write I’ll post some links to some sites I use. One of the links was suggested to me by one of my readers, and thanks to him I now know what a medieval tavern sounds like (thanks DJ Morand for making this suggestion).
List of Ambient Sites:
RAIN MOOD : this site plays rain and only rain. You are able to make your own rain music by combining a YouTube link with the rain of the day. They also offer Rain Music of the day where they take someone’s creation and let the world listen to it.
FOREST MOOD : this site plays forest noises like bird calls, rustling leaves, running streams, babbling brooks, and scurrying animals. If you are suck inside writing and want to feel like you’re writing in nature this is the link for you. Also helps if your characters are travelling through the woods.
NOISLI : I found this link from a VSauce DONG video. Here you can create your own unique ambient noise. They have rain, thunderstorms, wind, forest, leaves, water stream, seaside, water, fireplace, summer night, coffee shop, train, fan, white noise, pink noise, and brown noise. They are all adjustable and can be shared/ saved on your social media accounts.
TABLETOP AUDIO : this site was suggested to me by DJ Morand . They have more atmospheric ambient noise like forest at night, busy tavern, medieval battle, and many others. These I find helpful in figuring out what the atmosphere is like in a scene of my book or helps give me ideas on what noises my characters could be hearing in certain places throughout the area I’ve placed them. I find this more a world building tool than an ambient noise for writing tool.
LIMIT Chill Ambient & Lounge Music : this is a YouTube channel I happened across one of those days I was procrastinating. They are relatively new but they have all kinds of ambient noise videos that last anywhere from 3 minutes to an hour.