What To Fill Your Earholes With When You Write

A lot of my life is spent behind a keyboard.

Because I'm in The Pet Shop Boys.

No, I mean behind a computer keyboard, writing this site or working on freelance work or things like that. I'm a pretty slow, distracted writer and I can't have too much other sensory input or I just start to concentrate on that. I like to write out in the real world, in libraries and coffee shops, I feel this keeps me on track more than when I'm writing from home. But I need to listen to something to block out the sounds from the rest of the world. If I try listening to music, I'll spend too much time concentrating on the songs, and white noise isn't a pleasant sound for me. 

This is a tip I picked up from Matt Mullenweg, the developer behind WordPress, and the idea is to just listen to one song on repeat. That way you're blocking out the outside world, and doing so with something pleasant (unlike white noise) but it's not something that's changing all the time in a way that might hold your attention. And even more than that, it becomes a form of meditation with the song serving as a mantra of concentration. This has been very helpful to me and it has worked the best out of everything I've tried including: listening to nothing, listening to white noise apps, listening to classical music, listening to 3 or 4 different things at once (the idea being that they'll all blend together and you won't be able to identify any one input, but after a while your brain can block out all but the one you want to concentrate on). So give it a shot if you write or do other concentration-heavy work.

I listen to mostly instrumentals. I would say 80% of this site was written while listening to Ratatat.