Jump to content


Sara Alva

Recommended Posts

This is basically a repost from my author blog, but I thought some of the writers here might find it interesting. 


We all know (or learn from TV) that going to a coffee shop to write is “something writers do.” I thought it was mainly about getting out of the house--some people can start to go batty when they’re cooped up all day (not me; I’m a hermit). There’s also the people-watching benefit, but that’s probably best in a planning stage rather than a drafting stage.


Well, turns out, there may be more to it. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that a moderate level of noise is better for creativity than low/no noise (or loud noise, of course). So it could be that all the clinking machines and murmuring voices in a coffee shop reach that perfect decibel level (70 Db, according to the study) to enable you to churn out a literary masterpiece (or an entertaining read– both are good in my book icon_smile.gif ).


But I like to write in my pajamas, so I’m not sure about going the Starbucks route. Luckily for me, now there's Coffitivity, a website where I can listen to the noise of a coffee shop from the comfort of my own home. They even suggest the balance you should shoot for between your music and the “ambient noise.” I don’t listen to music when I write because I can’t do that passively, so I'm giving the noise alone a try.




The only thing I would ETA is that the 10 minute loop is not long enough for me :P

  • Like 2
Link to comment

I get the point about the ambient noise, but a coffee shop doesn't do it for me.  I feel too self conscious to really be able to focus on my writing.  For me, I like the library.  Not as much noise, but just enough from shuffling papers, clicking on other's keyboards and an occasional whispered conversation that keeps me from going insane.  I'll have to check out that site, though, thanks for the link!  :)  

  • Like 1
Link to comment

I love this idea, Sara. Total silence is no good for me when I'm writing. I usually put on music of some sort. Sometimes I let the same song play over and over. After awhile I stop hearing it, but at the end of an hour, I'll find I've written a couple thousand words.


Thanks for the link. I'm going to try it out. :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment

I tried using this.


I fell asleep on my laptop and drooled all over the keyboard :<



For me, it was the looping that was an issue. I was picking up on the same conversations, the same dude laughing...felt like I was in the matrix.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

You could overlay coffee shop music over that actually to make it more exciting, but it probably won't solve your loop problem:

Good lord that cat thing is annoying :P And, I can't do music. Generally I'm in silence, but that does make me sleepy.

Edited by KingdombytheSea
Link to comment

Hey, J.K. Rowling wrote all seven Harry Potter novels in a modest coffee shop in Edinburgh, and she wound up making over $1 billion dollars. So maybe there is something to this. 


Me, I can't write with vocal music playing -- it interferes with the dialogue. I have no problem writing with innocuous instrumental music like jazz or light classical (no opera), provided there's no spoken interruptions. But I don't like being around people talking, not when I'm deep in a chapter.

Link to comment
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here: Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..