The Sounds of Writing

Published September 21, 2011 by Iniysa

What do you listen to when you write? Most will say music, which is my preference; however as I was sitting at the restaurant I prefer to write at I got to wondering what it was about this restaurant that made my muse so active that other places didn’t.

Atmosphere is a big one I suppose, Denny’s and Taco Bell’s A/C are kept at artic levels and I feel strange walking around in 112°F heat with a heavy jacket over my arm. But I think sound is the key.

I have two favorite writing restaurants, the local hole in the wall pizza place (Paul’s Pizza) where there is only one booth with an outlet and no wifi. And Bullritos where every booth has outlet and free wifi.

Both restaurants are friendly, the staff knows my name, what I order and where ill be sitting. And the sound beyond the music is of people talking and laughing. The staff having warm conversations with the public and themselves. I hear lite, happy sounds and I focus in on my keyboard, letting the words flow.

Taco Bells is to quite. If they have music at all I can’t hear it, and the staff mainly talk to each other in Spanish. I get little to no writing done there, even bundled up in my heavy jacket.

Denny’s on the other hand has in general a hectic noise. People coming in for meetings, on a deadline, or stressing over homework. The staff is yelling at each other for one reason or another, and again I find myself having trouble letting my creative juices flow.

I’ve tried dozens of other restaurants around town, but the sounds are wrong, not inviting. The sounds of staff wanting me to leave so that they don’t have to refill my glass anymore.

On nice days I’ve tried to write at the park. The atmosphere is almost perfect, the only time there is any real stress is when I have to 7get up for any reason, I can’t just ask someone I know to watch my things; I have to stop, close and drag everything with me, turn  hope my spot will still be there when I return.

The sounds are completely different then restaurants. Unless you turn on the music yourself, it’s mostly very quite. You can here the wind passing gently through the leaves of the trees. Children laughing in the distance, but mostly the sound of feet hitting the pavement, scooters rolling past and bicycle tires going by. Occasionally you will here people talking as they walk or sit near you. I often find myself very distracted here, there is so much visually and for someplace so quite there is a lot of sudden noise.

So where is your favorite place to write away from home? What noises make it your spot?

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3 comments on “The Sounds of Writing

  • My favorite place to write away from home is at the lake. I like the scenery, and the occasional hello from someone walking their dog. I can’t write with too much noise around me, I get too wrapped up in what is going on and can’t focus on my task at hand.

  • I love to write by the ocean. I bring my notebook or laptop down to the docks and the sound of the water provides the perfect white noise. Sometimes the crabbers hauling up traps at night are a great inspiration for characters too. For editing, I grab a corner chair at my favorite local coffee shop and the waiter brings me new drinks to try every time. Great post. I think I need an ocean night!

  • When I write away from home, I like to write at Panera Bread. The music is contemporary, soft and the atmosphere is pretty calm. The seats are comfortable and the decor is warm.

    I like Starbucks for the coffee but the music is a bit too loud and there is usually too much talking.

    When I write at my desk, I’ll play anything from country to Ozzy to James Ingram to a thunderstorm (my personal favorite). Right now I’m listening to “Chicken fried” by The Zac Brown Band. Yee haa!

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