Finding Your Silence

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

I really need quiet to get my best creative work done. I know that some people like to have some background noise or they have some music that works well for them. I have never been one of those people. The noises are always distracting. I sing along to the music (even just in my head) or I end up hearing more of a nearby conversation next to me than I ever wanted to. Even instrumental music is too much.
Oh, and if you stand over my shoulder, I literally won't be able to write anything.

The most noise I can take is white noise. I like to put on some thunderstorm sounds, but even then I find myself trying to figure out where the sound loops and starts over. It's incredibly lame, but it's what happens.

I simply love the quiet.

Today I'm writing from my iPad in my local library. It's a small library and it's completely silent right now (7:30pm on a Thursday, if you wanted to know). There are other people here, but not many, and we've all silently agreed to give each other the maximum buffer zone. If I poke my head out from my little cubeicle, I can see there's someone down a ways typing away on his MacBook, but I can't hear him, and I don't even see him if I stay focused on my iPad.

I'm in the biography section. Nobody's coming my way.

I was just at a Starbucks and sipped coffee (their mochas are good, so don't hate) while I caught up on Twitter and my news feeds. I tried to set up shop, maybe overcome the noise hurdle, but I didn't feel inspired. Maybe next time.

All I need to be productive is silence. I'll fill that void with the clicky-clack of my keyboard, and that's how I know I'm “getting stuff done.” I'm envious of those who can work when there's noises all around. You can make any situation noisy, but it's sometimes incredibly difficult to find that silence.