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Old 09-29-2010, 03:55 PM   #1
rudykerkhoven
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What is your ideal writing environment?

I'm just curious what other writers on this forum feel about their ideal writing environment. Do you seek silence, solitude, or do you listen to music, seek bustle?

Personally, I write best with strangers around, as in a coffee shop. I didn't used to be able to listen to my own music when writing, but now I make a playlist of instrumental music that fits the tone of what i want to write. I've tried writing in a rather secluded environment--a cabin on a lake--but usually I feel like I have nothing to say.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:11 PM   #2
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Ideally a location without other people or distractions. I like some background music just to set the tone.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:49 PM   #3
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Old 09-30-2010, 03:11 AM   #4
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I don't like background music - I can't process my thoughts and the music simultaneously (when I play music, my mind insists on listening to the music).

I like natural quiet (birds, kids, ordinary suburban noises are mostly fine). I like a bit of air coming into the room. I like solitude. I like to have my books and references and personal paraphernalia and momentos around me...a room that is territorially-decorated mine.

(I haven't quite got this...but if we get the circular staircase in then Frog Hollow - the room behind the double-garage, with a sliding glass door to outside, next to the pool, rising rock-garden, overhanging palms, and pool-waterfall/stream - will be mine, oh, yes, it will be mine, for writing and photography. )

Cheers,
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:52 AM   #5
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I wrote a good deal of TKL on my Palm using wireless keyboard while having lunch at work or sitting in my favorite breakfast joint on weekends. The noise didn't bother me at all. But sitting in my home office with the windows open, writing to the sounds of birds chirping is the best.
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:04 PM   #6
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:56 PM   #7
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I don't really have one... I tend to tune out the environment when I write. So the only place I don't want to be is a place where I can't tune out the environment, which includes places like mosh pits, stock trading floors, gambling houses, strip clubs, race tracks and crashing airliners.

Mind you, if I'm in a strip club, I'm probably not interested in writing...
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montsnmags View Post
I don't like background music - I can't process my thoughts and the music simultaneously (when I play music, my mind insists on listening to the music).
I like natural quiet (birds, kids, ordinary suburban noises are mostly fine).
Interestingly , I am the opposite to a degree. I do my best work with a bit of jazz or new age instrumental playing. No words in the music though, otherwise I too tend to listen. Quite often though natural noises draw my attention away from what I am doing and I want to watch the birds, kids, squirrels, moose, etc that are in my yard. I write primarily in the autumn/winter since Alaska's summer is 24 light and I cannot focus on sitting still during the only time we can get a lot of non-writing work done.
Therefore my best writing setting is in my comfy wingback recliner, in a dark room with only one lamp beside the chair, and my fish tank on the other side (fish are the only living thing that doesn't distract me). Bose QC2 headphones playing jazz or ambient music via Pandora or Slacker. Kids and wife in bed or busy elsewhere. Slowly sipping my beverage du jour. My Muse (whichever one happens to be present at the time) sits invisibly on the arm of my chair watching and whispering/coaxing me along.

Sometimes her hair gets in my eyes.
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:24 PM   #9
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I seem to do my best writing when trapped in an office. Unfortunately, I must work in the same environment.
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:40 PM   #10
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In the middle of a field with my dog seems to be where my best dialogue comes from. If I sit in front of a computer I can't write anything at all.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:32 PM   #11
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Personally, if I'm at home and there's no music, I get distracted by the smallest things, so I try to play somewhat instrumental music. But, I seem to be one of the few people who prefers to write somewhere like a coffee shop, with other people and conversations around (although I'll still often listen to music on my ipod, again mostly instrumental or songs with rather unintelligable lyrics).
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:57 PM   #12
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A cafe. Doesn't matter how noisy it is, but it must be out of the house, and I must be on my own. I've got a lovely quiet house, but I can't write there, I keep getting distracted by all the stuff that needs to be done. In McDonalds, I don't have to do anything except knock out another thousand words.
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:16 PM   #13
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I admit to a lot of surprise, bordering on shock, that a significant number of you talk about populated, or noisy places, like cafes. I always find it mighty pleasant to have my preconceptions overturned, even if I don't share the preference. Interesting.

Cheers,
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:59 PM   #14
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I often go to a local restaurant for either lunch or coffee and have my netbook along to type on.
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:17 PM   #15
julieannfelicity
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I like writing where there's a little hum of background noise. For some reason it very soothing. I usually get to write when the kids and DH are in bed, so I play some soft music (nothing pop-ish or metal-ish) to make up for that quiet. Then again, there are times where I do like the quiet too.
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