For the first twelve years of my writing ‘career’, I had one surefire tool that I used when I needed to focus on writing a lot. I’d plug in my earbuds as far as they’d go and all but gurantee a loss of hearing in less than double my years by blasting intense music as loud as it would go. I have no idea why I was so reckless, though I must admit that self preservation wasn’t a concern I had in my late teens and early 20s. I am a little less dumb now, still doing that but rationing out the tinitus-inducing sessions. But what’s curious is what happened when I intvested in my over-ear bluetooth headphones, and to be more specific, what kept happening when I forgot to hit play.
So the pair I own are cheap. I dropped £50 on them so not cheap-cheap, but for audio quality and build strength they are very much lacking. That’s ok, I’m a cheap person and even then I still agonised over buying them, but for the last close to three years they’ve served me well, and aside from a little wear and tear they show no signs of stopping. Of far more interest however, is the feature that I actually bought them for: noise cancelling. Ok so they’re cheap so it’s not blackout, but it’s a significant improvement. I felt I needed that for working in a busy office, and saw a close to immediate improvement from them. But then, I started forgetting every now and then to hit play on my song or audiobook, and discovered the blindingly obvious: dulling all noise really helps concerntration when you’re sensory-sensative.
And then over the last month or so, I made a more staggering discovery: I write far faster if I have the noise cancelling on, but nothing playing. I can write with any noise in the background: other people, music, heck I sometimes listen to an audiobook while I’m writing. But dulled ambiance with the low hum of the budget headphones blocking low level noises, that it turns out trumps all. I think while I can write with distractions, I work best when I get rid of all of them. And you know what’s most embarrasing about this discovery? I already made it over two years ago.My little 1K mantra poem literally has the line:
“Remove distractions one by one”
So yes, this post is me calling myself dumb for not noticing this sooner. But hey, if any of my imaginary readers would benefit from inproved concerntration, turns out cheap noise reducing/cancelling headphones do improve things. I’m sure someone could benefit from hearing that. You know, if they can hear it, if they’re wearing, you know what that joke is so half baked and I’ve worded that so bad imma abandon that one before I begin. Also on the subject of imaginary readers, it’s a little, weird, how unimaginary you’re all starting to become. But if you’re reading this, hi. Also why?