Some writers love the silence of the early morning or the late night while they write. Some love the soft white noise of a cafe or a library as they type. Then, there are those writers who love ambient sounds and music without leaving the comfort of their home.
I am the latter. I have designed my writing space so that I am surrounded by inspiration and a mystical stillness. To complete the magic, I play some ambient sounds or some fantasy music. I can’t seem to write without my music; it really helps me concentrate.
So, my writer’s desk always includes a play button with some sounds to accompany my writing session, and I’m here to share some of my favorites with you. Here’s a list of four different YouTube videos/channels that you can listen to while you write:
The Guild of Ambience
A library or a cafe has some great, natural ambience for any writer. As a fantasy writer, however, I like some ambience that transports me to a fantasy world. Whether it be a wizard’s library, an apothecary’s shop, or a tavern, I can find the best ambience with The Guild of Ambience.
Their videos really make me feel like I’m elsewhere. I often write in mood lighting, so the sound perfectly blend with the ambience.
I especially love the artwork used in the videos. There are moving elements in the video, like a running stream or trees swaying in the wind or a moving fire in the fireplace. I play the videos on my TV, so I look at the video every once in a while, and it gives the illusion that I’m in a different world entirely.
My personal favorites include “Harbor Sounds”, “Library Sounds”, and “Fireplace Sounds with Howling Wind”.
Like The Guild of Ambience, ASMR Rooms creates some incredible videos with ambient sounds and moving images in the video. However, her channel focuses on specific locations from films, TV shows, and books we all know and love.
From The Harry Potter series to the Studio Ghibli films, you can literally find yourself anywhere with her videos. One video, you can be in The Shire enjoying a sunrise in a Hobbit hole and the next, you can be in Littlefinger’s Brothel in the Game of Thrones series.
The best part is that I know she creates the animations in her videos, so it’s great to support an artist’s work even if it’s just watching the video on YouTube.
As the name suggests, there are some ASMR elements in these videos, so if you’re not a fan of ASMR, some of the videos may not be to your liking. However, most of them are just ambient sounds with no ASMR qualities that can make some people feel uncomfortable.
Derek & Brandon Fiechter
Moving toward the music end of writing background sound, if you’re writing a story in a specific location, you will most likely find the music to best match that setting with composers Derek Fiechter and Brandon Fiechter.
The twin brothers compose songs that are fit for any scene or scenario. I mean, truly, their channel has everything: medieval music, fantasy forests, steampunk towns, pirate jigs, sci-fi music, spooky sounds, underwater worlds, etc. etc. They’ve also got holiday-themed music from Halloween to Christmas as well as cultural sounds from Asian music to Egyptian music. I honestly could go on forever.
I personally make playlists with the songs that work best for my novel, so I can keep the same sound and tone for the scenes I’m working on. They’re also very active on their channel, so I am constantly seeing new music that can potentially be added to my playlists.
lofi hip hop radio
I don’t listen to fantasy music all the time. Sometimes I just need some chill tunes to write to while I drink some hard cider, and when it comes to those nights, I like to listen to ChilledCow’s lofi hip hop radio.
Now, if you know about lofi, then you know there are literally thousands of different videos with these tunes all over YouTube. However, I personally like this one. I use it for both my personal writing time and for background music for my creative writing club (of which I am president).
I find the music used in this specific live stream to always have the same relaxed tone while still having a good beat. I also love the girl in the video who I like to think of as my writing buddy.
My writing club members and I complain about her often, however, because she writes only one paragraph and then changes the page which is such a waste of paper! We’ve called the girl Loki and the cat Dionysus.
These are just a few of my favorite sources of sound and music when writing, so if you’d like some more suggestions, let me know! I hope you try these out next time you write (or study) and hopefully, you enjoy them!