Guest Post, My Guest Posts, Writing Tips

Guest Post: Five Alternatives to Music for Distracted Writers

Today, my friend, Miranda Kulig, who has a writing blog called “Perfectly Unperfected,” has a post for us about several non-musical sounds that are great for writing. Personally, I love her suggestion of rain– I use that a lot while I am writing and sometimes I even listen to it in addition to music. I hope you guys like her suggestions as much as I do. If you enjoyed this post, you should go check out her blog– I really love her tips, or you can look at the guest post that I did for her a couple weeks ago: More than a Story.


Hey guys! Today I wanted to talk about something that I find very helpful when I sit down to write: music.

It’s no lie that music can be a key part of learning. A lot of people work best when there is some sort of music or noise present, and some people can only work if there is some sort of music or noise present.

But when I wrote my first novel, I found myself struggling with music. I would sit down at my desk, open my computer, and turn on my writing playlist to help me focus. But do you know what? I didn’t focus–I got distracted. Either I would sing along with the song, or I would think about the lyrics rather than the words I needed to write. I couldn’t work when it was quiet, and I couldn’t work when music was playing. I was stuck!

Luckily, I found the answer to my problem pretty quickly. It turns out that there a bunch of alternative sounds to listen to if you get distracted by lyrics, and now I’m going to share my favorites with you!

Five Alternatives to Music for Distracted Writers

  1. Rain. This was the first alternative to music I found, and it’s definitely my favorite. I adore rain–so much that my brother always jokes that I’m going to move to Seattle someday just for the weather. But unfortunately, I live in Michigan where it rains a few times per month, usually–not every time I sit down to write. Fortunately, Rainy Mood exists! This website plays a ceaseless stream of rain sounds, and it’s a perfect, non-distracting background noise to help you write. You could also look up rain sounds on YouTube or download a rain sound app on your phone.
  2. Nature sounds. Like nature sounds but don’t like rain? Sounds To Sleep To is right for you! This website allows you to personally customize the perfect nature sound set. You can turn on one sound or many at a time and then adjust the volume for each one! With options like birdsong, campfire, wind, waves, and more, you could spend hours just finding the right sound combination! (I don’t recommend that, though. It would seriously take away from your writing time.)
  3. Noise. This alternative to music is something I stumbled on accidentally, but ended up absolutely adoring it. Though views on it are mixed, a lot of studies have found that listening to noise aids in concentration. My personal favorites are brown and pink noise for study and concentration and long-term memory improvement Isochronic tones. As weird as those sound, white noise is seriously amazing for concentration. It’s incredible how easily you’re able to tune things out!
  4. Instrumentals/karaoke. Sometimes, I really, really love the sound of a song. I love the beat and the melody, and I love the vibe I get from it all. Sometimes I hear a song and all I can do is watch as a scene unfolds in my head or a piece of dialogue plays through my mind. But, like I said before, I get super distracted by the lyrics in the songs I listen to when I’m trying to write. So, that’s why I started listening to karaoke and instrumental versions! Some songs may be difficult or impossible to find, but I can usually find instrumental versions of my favorite songs on YouTube.
  5. SoundFuel. I love this site, you guys. Sooo much. SoundFuel is this awesome blog just full of all sorts of things to listen to while writing. There’s scores for death scenes and fight scenes, sci-fi, fantasy, romance–you name it, there’s a sound for it! Seriously, though–check it out!

So as you can see, there are tons of options for background noise other than music. And thank goodness for that, or I would probably still be struggling to finish my first novel!

What about you? Do you prefer music when you write, or do you get distracted like me?

Miranda Kulig is a lover of all things books. She picked up a pencil when she was four years old and has had a hard time putting it down ever since. At the age of seventeen, she completed her first novel and is currently working on her third. When she isn’t writing, Miranda enjoys curling up with a good book and a hot cup of tea, or spending time with her family. She is actively seeking representation for her YA sci-fi romance, Unperfected.


2 thoughts on “Guest Post: Five Alternatives to Music for Distracted Writers”

  1. I like your suggestions! I too find that music can be very distracting when writing. I listened to the rain sounds during school and found it very relaxing. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing the links and tips, Miranda!


  2. Rain makes me depressed, the nature sounds weren’t helpful, and while I think the white noise was working, it was missing something. However, I really liked the instrumentals and scores ideas. My personal favorite study background is mostly scores, with a few instrumentals.

    If I know a song well enough, the lyrics don’t bother me, but I have fantastic hyper-focusing abilities.


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