Connecting sound with writing is probably not immediately obvious. Intense mental struggles over finding the right words, getting in the right mood, feigning determination to free oneself from writer’s block…all those connections come forth easily, but the sounds of writing? Except for occasional screams of anguish from the struggle of the process, the influence of sound is not usually noticed.
One of my daily reads, moleskinerie, has an article today on The Sound of Paper. After reading that, I realized that a writer not only deals constantly with sound during the process, but some of these audile distractions can be like comfort foods to someone under the weather. I find it somewhat relaxing to write to the steady cadence of my fountain pen scratching across paper, much more so than the staccati fits of keyboards keys that seem to resist my true intentions. During particularly intense writing sessions, the sound of my breathing strangely blends with the pen scratches to merge into a strange symbiotic relationship. At times that mini-symphony is distracting enough to lose the purpose of the moment.
Since I spend a good deal of time writing at places like Starbucks (admittedly more for their wifi connection than their burnt coffee, but the maple oat scones are killer…), ambient white sound seems to help me write as well. For whatever reason, the music, rustle of patron’s papers, mixed conversations that blend into a rhythmic track, and the occasional sounds from behind the counter all combine to provide a rich background upon which I seem to be able to focus and concentrate. Can’t quite explain it, except to say that it works well for me when writing blog entries and other light works (business writing works well there too, but then, that’s autopilot writing). The scant few times I work on the novel, however, I seem to need a more perfect quiet that’s harder to find. Maybe I feel that serious writing requires structure, whereas more conversational work evolves nicely under the coziness of a blanket of masking sounds.
I have a dream to travel and write, but more specifically, to write a major piece solely in coffee shops/caf