Now, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with noise, family, or having a life but if you, like me, live in a place where you can hear your upstairs’ neighbours word for word conversations, and their kids as they get up every morning at 5am, then firstly welcome, welcome, come in, you’re in the right place, and secondly let’s deal with your too noisy neghbours!
Sometimes I find noise to be soothing — I’m the kind of person who can slowly block out noise and find it comforting to be surrounded by things happening, somehow it helps me focus, hey sometimes I even turn on the TV to make me feel like there are people around when I’m writing — but there are other times I do not. Screaming, in particular, I find messes with my zen. My zen pool is not big enough to deal with high pitch noises.
To get my zen back on track here are a few things I’ve tried that maybe you can too:
Not just those wee little ones you get with phones, like actually huge, covering half of the side of my head noise cancelling headphones. When you first put them on you may be a little uneasy because honestly you can hear your own heartbeat and ain’t that just a tad weird, but after settling into it or maybe putting on some light jazz* you may find these work a treat. I have found them especially effective in getting rid of sirens, washing machines, hoovers, stamping feet, and more. The only downside is when you miss the postman trying to get in to give you your shipment of books you ordered because you didn’t hear the doorbell. Also, they’re quite heavy. Also, in my case I have a small head so it’s hard to find headphones that don’t fall off.
Fight fire with fire, right?
Like I said, sometimes I can focus noise away. I know some people find this impossible, and if this is you I’m so sorry because that sucks, but I find it acheiveable when you have the right task. The things that take me away from my senses are either stuff that is super hard and demands my attention, or things I’m enjoying so much I cucoon myself in them. It happens gradually, and as soon as you notice the bubble dissapates, but it can happen.
4. Go somewhere else
Maybe the upstairs or downstairs or sideways neighbours can’t leave the house today. If the noise is too disruptive, and you can leave the house, try it. There are libraries and parks and coffee shops and botanic gardens and aquariums and a whole load of places outside in the real world where you could sit down and write. Perhaps this is a gift from the universe, forcing you to go outside and discover your favourite new writing spot.
5. Use it as inspiration
The gift of hearing, and sensing people around you, is something we should try to appreciate. If it isn’t giving you a headache maybe you can use it to spark something magical, maybe let the world around you influence what you write and see where it takes you. Sometime distractions can lead you down marvelous rabbit holes and onwards towards adventure.
How do you deal with distracting places?
*kidding, I hate jazz, it’s heavy metal all the way for me**
** only half kidding I’m still finding my musical self