I’m a homebody, so I’ve never gone to Starbucks to write, but we all know (or learn from TV) that it’s “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. 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 :)).
But I like to write in my pajamas, so I’m not sure about going the Starbucks route. Thankfully, some smartypants over at Coffitivity have solved the problem for me. They created 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 may give it a try some day. I don’t listen to music when I write because I can’t do that passively. I usually write in silence, but that has a tendency to get me sleepy after a while (especially if I’m doing any editing…zzz). Sometimes I turn the TV on to something I’m not interested in, but even the most boring show distracts me on occasion.
Maybe this will be my noise solution! Anyone else have some non-music ambient noise ideas?