Sooner or later, it’ll happen to you: you’ll have time carved out to write but will be absolutely unable to concentrate. In case taking a break isn’t an option, listening to music might do the trick. Here are some of my favorite tunes and sounds when I really don’t feel like doing anything, but need to convince my brain to work in spite of it all. Feel free to share your own in the comments.
Songza has all sorts of great playlists, but I always keep coming back to this one. The finger-picking acoustic tunes have a hint of country and a hint of blues. No lyrics, so it’s not completely distracting, but it’s interesting enough to help you focus.
It’s not really music, but rather an app that mimics the sounds of a local cafe. If you’d like to be able to turn the volume up and down at will, not worry about spilling coffee on your laptop, and have a strong wifi connection that isn’t slow as molasses, you’ll enjoy Coffitivity.
If you like white noise in theory but can’t find any that doesn’t want to make you break things, Focus@will just might do the trick. The free version plays 60 minutes of sounds at a time, and paying for a subscription unlocks all sorts of other features.
Other People’s Soundtracks
Sometimes when I’m writing a profile on a specific person, I listen to the type of music they like to try to get in their head a little bit. Of course, this only works if it’s not music you absolutely despise. I usually look for them on Spotify or just find soundtracks of the type of music they say they like.
Your Favorite Tunes
I know, I know, it’s so obvious that it’s barely worth mentioning, but you probably have some tunes laying around that just might work. I find myself listening to classical guitar and ukulele quite a bit (Jason Vieaux, Jake Shimabukuro, Adrian Holovaty, etc.) when editing, and more raucous music (Jayke Orvis and the Broken Band, for example) for idea generation. What do you listen to when you write?