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Sunday, August 29, 2010

What Kind of Environment Do You Like to Work In

Today, I have two questions for you, and they apply to anyone who works. First one, what kind of environment do you prefer to work in?

Here are some sample answers from authors below to get you thinking.

I need noise and interruptions and irritation: irritation and discomfort are a great starter. The loneliness of doing it any other way would kill me.
Anita Brookner

The actual process of writing. . .demands complete, noiseless privacy, without even music; a baby howling two blocks away will drive me nuts.
William Styrom

When I worked full-time at Trans World Airlines, my work space was always neat. Everything was either hidden away or stacked in neat little piles where I could what I needed easily. As an author and looking at my desk this minute: Total chaos reins here. lol I swear I'm going to organize it soon.

Second question is do you need a view while you work?

Again, there are some interesting answers.

I like a room with a view, preferably a long view. I dislike looking out on gardens. I prefer looking at the sea, or ships, or anything which has a vista in it.
Norman Mailer

The ideal view for daily writing, hour on hour, is the blank brick wall of a cold-storage warehouse. Failing this, a stretch of sky will do, cloudless if possible.
Edna Ferber

Again when I worked at TWA there was constant chatter, telephones ringing, etc., but as a writer I can't work unless it's absolutely quiet. My desk is in front of the window and the blinds are open, so I can see outside when I'm stumped instead of looking at a blank page on the computer screen. The daily changes in weather can forecast the scenes for my stories, especially, if they are set in that season.

Okay, I've told you what I have needed to work in two different environments and given you samples of author environments now it's your turn.

See you next month.

Sandra K. Marshall


Pat Dale said...

Interesting questions. When I first began writing fiction novels, my favorite place to write was the coffee shop in the college union, where I would sit on a stool at a counter that was one huge slab of glass from the busy hallway. Noise didn't bother me, crowds didn't bother me, even interruptions for conversation with students and staff didn't bother me.
But I'm also good with my current space, which faces a dark wall with a draped off window I can't see out of and only my music going in the background.
When my brain is functioning, it doesn't seem to matter. When I'm being blocked by something, nothing seems to help.
Go figure...

Jill James said...

I love music when I write. I tune it out once I get in the zone, but I need it to get started. I don't have a view and I wish I did. Mine is a shed and the fence.

jean hart stewart said...

Interesting questions. I work in a favorite chair in the living room, looking out at a portion of my front yard. Not much, as a hedge blocks the neighbor's which is pretty close.The printer and all the messy stuff is in the guest room where my files are. That keeps most of the mess there but not all, since I keep research books around my working space. Suits me, and we only have family guests actually stay with us.Oh, I can't stand music playing, although family interruptions don't bother me.

Katalina Leon said...

I have to work around a lot of interruptions and I've developed a few tricks to keep my mind on track. I loop the same piece of music, often for hours or days at a time until a thought or scene is completed.
The late Sci-fi writer and great thinker, Asiac Asimov advised authors to not "Treat their minds like hot house orchids" His dream was to own a newsstand in Grand Central Station and write there as the world walked past. His point was an author could have their deepest, most profound thoughts in the busiest places. No special environment needed.
I can put up with almost anything excerpt someone looking over my shoulder as I write! I makes me freeze and go blank. lol

Sandy said...

Thanks, Dale.

I agree that when you're in the zone it doesn't matter. Smile.

Sandy said...

Thanks, Jill.

Hey, Jill, do you any wild animals around that shed and fence? I think views are good for the soul.

Sandy said...

Hey, Jean, I sit in the recliner in the front room and write on my laptop. The PC is my promotional spot and it's a mess. Snort!

Thanks a bunch for coming by.

Sandy said...

Thanks for the advice from Asiac Asimov, Cat. He might be on the right track. It would stimulate your mind.

Thanks for coming by.

Melisse Aires said...

I have to have background noise, TV is perfect. I like to be in the living room where I can see everything and everyone.

I don't like to feel either claustrophobic or as if someone is reading over my shoulder. My current set up --the monitor is on a small rolling cart and I'm on the corner living room loveseat--is perfect. My little dog is on his blanket right next to me, I'm not really engaging with family but am not separated from them either.

Jill James said...

Sandy, no wild animals unless husband getting mower out of the shed counts.

Paris said...

It really depends on my mood. If I'm trying to get back to a project I haven't looked at in a while, I need quiet to concentrate on the many threads I need to draw together.

If however, I'm in the "everything is falling in to place" mode I usually listen to "theme" music that I associate with what I'm working on.

Interesting post!

MiaMarlowe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MiaMarlowe said...

Sorry. Had to edit out my typos.

I need either quiet or instrumental music when I write. And I love to have a view. My writing chair is positioned so I can look out over the Mystic River. Sometimes, I have to clear my fictional head with a dose of the real world and I want it to be a happy dose. ;-)

Sandy said...


You just reminded me that my little cat, Dora, likes to lay on my piles of papers and sleep while I work at my PC.

Thanks for your comment.

Sandy said...

LOL Jill, he might count. It depends on his mood while getting the mower out of the shed.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Paris.

I'm going to be dragging out an old manuscript soon, too. It needs a lot of revision and the more I think about it I think it will be two books.

Anonymous said...

I have an office with a great view and all kinds of supplies and an old, but reliable desktop computer. But I am happiest working away on my laptop in the living room, TV on or off, with puppy snuggling.

I'm still having trouble getting on so I'll try anonomous but you know me at Pet!

Sandy said...

Ah, Mia, the perfectionist. Smile.

Thank you for your comment. Great to see you here.

Sandy said...

Oh, Pet, thank you for coming by.

I like working on my laptop best, too, so I'm not distracted by email. lol So glad Newt likes to snuggle. Smile.

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