What kind of writing environment do you prefer?

The question in the post was suggested to me by Declan Drake (@declan_drake).

I can write anywhere and I have. Some of my novel, Ashes, out later this year, was written in the main branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library, which is an amazing place – truly wonderful! Why Utah? I could tell you but it’s only tangentially relevant to this article.

If I want to do my best writing, it has to be like this:

Silence. When I was at university, I would study with ear plugs in. I need to hear what I’m thinking and I can’t do that if anything else is taking my auditory attention.

Clear Space. I am a neat freak. It helps me concentrate on my writing if I can’t see any mess. Mess represents housework, which is something which doesn’t mix well with trying to write a novel*.

Light. My desk is by the window so that I can see the sky. I grew up on a fairly flat island that was dominated by sky. The painter JMW Turner said of those skies, they were “the loveliest in all Europe” and he was probably right. The skies over the flatness of Cambridgeshire are expansive and help me to write. If I can’t have natural light, I have to have a lamp.

What about you? I would love to hear from other people about their working environments. It doesn’t have to be writing. How do you like to concentrate?

*This isn’t actually strictly true. Housework leaves my mind free to wander and this does help the planning and development of plot, which is helpful in trying to write a novel.


11 thoughts on “What kind of writing environment do you prefer?

  1. I can write at my kitchen table, or in a café. The noise doesn’t bother me, it’s like white noise, as long as no one is trying to talk to me specifically. I can’t write at home if my husband or daughter is home-too many interruptions. As long as I can be by myself in my own mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great blog post! I’m always curious about different writers, and what environment best suits their writing. I’ve heard Stephen King blares heavy metal music while he writes. I don’t mind the music, but I could never write like that!

    For me, quiet is key. I write with headphones on with no music playing. I also prefer to write in the dark (I write on my Mac). I like to feel isolated and alone. I’m writing from inside someone else’s head (1st person POV) and I need to feel free and detached so I can “be there” with my character.

    All these responses are so interesting! I’m so glad you made this blog post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like pen and paper, and quiet is good but I can block out surrounding noise if it doesn’t require my attention. And I do like surrounding darkness with a pool of light provided by a table lamp.

    Liked by 1 person

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