Can Ambient Noise Boost Your Creativity?

My first office was a 3ft x 5ft coat closet off the living room of an equally small house.  Prince Charming had to cut the width of a pre-assembled desk down to size in order to make it fit.

I was surrounded by crates of writing supplies and there wasn't even enough room to close the door or twirl around while sitting in the chair.  Not that I would have--closed the door, I mean.

Every night after PC went off to work and the heirs to the kingdom were tucked into bed, I'd sit down to write.  I'd leave the TV on in the living room and always knew when Leno came on.  I'd listen to and laugh along with the monologue, skits and guests--all while writing--and when Leno was over that was my cue for bed.  I couldn't tell you what came before Leno, probably a sit-com with a laugh track.

I have friends who swear by writing to music.  I've tried and can't stand anything in my ears, but even without earbuds find music lyrics distracting and music without lyrics boring.  There are exceptions--the Top Gun soundtrack, for one--probably because I've listened to it so many times it's become background noise.  In fact, I won't even allow myself to break out the CD unless I mean business.  Those first pulse pounding beats of Danger Zone send my fingers flying across the keyboard.

So I found it very interesting when a friend sent me a link to coffitivity.  Based on research that ambient noise boosts creativity, this website brings the sounds of a coffee shop right to your computer.  I haven't tried it yet, but I'm falling behind on upcoming deadlines and up for anything.  I'm going to give it a whirl today along with Top Gun.

Do you need peace and quite in order to get anything done?  Or do you find ambient noise helps boost your creativity?

While you're trying out the online coffee shop experience have a virtual Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino on me:

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