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Want to do your writing or drawing in a medieval tavern? In front of a fireplace? In Hogwarts library? Explore ambience videos!

My home studio is a cluttered basement office underground with no windows. Well, there ARE windows but the view is either blocked or covered up. Sometimes I work to silence, but I’m always leery about getting TOO used to working this way because I want to be able to work in all kinds of conditions. It’s one reason I usually work on my fiction writing on my iPad Pro using Ulysses; the latter syncs seamlessly across all my devices. I often take my noise-cancelling headphones with me.

Something I do when I’m home is to have an ambience video playing on my extra screen or my iPad. I know it sounds silly at first, and it may not work for you, but I find that it really DOES trick part of my brain into feeling as if I’m working in that space. I feel comforted somehow, relaxed and able to focus more on my work.

One of my favourite YouTube channels is ASMR Rooms. The branding is subtle and animated effects not too distracting. I also love fireplace videos, especially during the long winter months in Toronto:

If you’re more interested in audio-only ambience than video, there are also many sound-focused videos, like an hour in a Starbucks cafea somewhat quieter coffee shop, and background office noises (with muted voices).

For those interested, I’ve been keeping a “Background ambience for writers and illustrators” playlist on my YouTube channel; feel free to use/subscribe! I only add ASMR videos which I’ve used myself and like (there are sooooo many out there!). Do check that you’re on wifi, not cellular data.

If you’re curious about finding about more about the A.S.M.R. phenomena:

ASMR University: The Art & Science Of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

How A.S.M.R. Became A Sensation – The New York Times Magazine

These people make a living with bizarre repetitive YouTube videos that give users ‘pins and needles‘ – CNBC

These Harry Potter ASMR videos will help you study, sleep, or daydream of Hogwarts – Hypable

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