I hate white noise. No, honestly, I do. White noise machines to me might as well be grumbling obscenities to themselves. I mean, why would you choose to listen to that?
(Because we’re all different, etc., etc., not my point.)
I hate the sounds of vacuums and lawn mowers, dishwashers and washing machines, box fans and—shoot me now—fluorescent lights. It’s not the mere presence of repetition and sound (I don’t hate tick-tocking clocks; I prefer them), it’s the fact that white noise is, to me, empty stimulus, and my ideal stimulus levels are low, and I prefer to use them on music than on whooooosh or haaaaaaahhhhh or vrrrrrmmmmm!!!
We all have white noise in our lives—the metaphorical type. The empty clutter in the back of our minds. Sometimes, it’s fairly unavoidable (yes, I still vacuum every week). But other times, we sit and we listen to whoooosssh and vrrmmmm when we could be listening to Beethoven. We fill our brains with busywork and garbage videos and popcorn books, and then we wonder why, when we sit down and write, our stories come out dull when they come out at all.
If you want to write well, white noise isn’t enough.