Discussion What is your writing environment?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by jcgoble3, Aug 23, 2013.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    So I've been trying to write a post for an RPG for a couple of weeks now, and I can't seem to eliminate all of the distractions around me that are preventing me from even getting started on it. I just can't get the right environment.

    I'm wondering what kind of environment everyone else prefers, and what tips you could offer fellow productivity-challenged writers.
    • Do you prefer silence or music? If the latter, what kind and volume? If the former, what steps do you take to eliminate background noise?
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written?
    • Do you like to sit at a desk inside, take your laptop out into your backyard or to a local park, even go to the library to write?
    • Do you prefer to sit in one position for the entire writing session or change positions often, or do you need the freedom and space to get up and act out scenes before writing them?
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined?
    My preferred environment:
    • Silence is the only way to go for me. I recently discovered that I can write much more productively by wearing a pair of Smith & Wesson hearing protectors to shut out background noise.
    • Most of my writing is done in the same office chair at the desk in my bedroom, but I've worked at the library as well. I think I'm more focused and productive at the library, but it's a bit of a hassle to haul my laptop there and the library's hours don't match when I'm most likely to be in the mood to write (late evening or night), which is why I rarely go there.
    • Sometimes I sit in one position, sometimes I change positions a lot. The more I stop writing to think about what should happen next, the more I change positions. I generally don't need to act things out, as I'm very good at visualizing things in my head, but sometimes I do read the dialogue to myself and ad lib the next few lines (with typically humorous results).
    • Depends on where I stop. If I can delay the interruption long enough to reach a natural stopping point such as the end of a scene, I can walk away for any length of time and pick it up again with no problem provided the right environment still exists. If I'm pulled away in the middle of a sentence, the session is ruined if I don't get back to writing within a couple of minutes, and it's hard to get it going again. In that case, I sometimes have to delete the partial scene and start the scene over from scratch. The hearing protectors help a lot here by discouraging people from trying to talk to me.
    So what do you guys and gals prefer? How picky are you about getting the perfect environment? Or are you the kind of person that can write anywhere at any time?
    Last edited by jcgoble3, Aug 23, 2013
  2. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    • Do you prefer silence or music? Silence.
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written? My office chair.
    • Do you like to sit at a desk inside, take your laptop out into your backyard or to a local park, even go to the library to write? I write in my office, unless I am in the city after dropping my kids off at school. Then I write in the library with my laptop.
    • Do you prefer to sit in one position for the entire writing session or change positions often, or do you need the freedom and space to get up and act out scenes before writing them? Same position.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined? Just a little.
  3. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    • Do you prefer silence or music? If the latter, what kind and volume? If the former, what steps do you take to eliminate background noise? I usually have music playing low in the background. Typically, I'll have classical playing.
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written? I sit at my extremely comfortable desk chair in my home office.
    • Do you like to sit at a desk inside, take your laptop out into your backyard or to a local park, even go to the library to write? If I'm in my home office, I sit at my desk. I do, especially during the summer months here in California, take my laptop outside and sit by the pool.
    • Do you prefer to sit in one position for the entire writing session or change positions often, or do you need the freedom and space to get up and act out scenes before writing them? As long as the ideas keep flowing and I'm able to write, I won't get up.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined? Oh, it would have to be a whole lot. I have four kids so the distractions are never-ending. [face_laugh]
  4. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    • Do you prefer silence or music? Silence, I've tried writing with headphones on and listening to music (just to block other things out and cannot do it)
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written? Not really. I mostly write in my bedroom from my bed.
    • Do you like to sit at a desk inside, take your laptop out into your backyard or to a local park, even go to the library to write? I can write anywhere in the house or outside of my house (some public places but not all) Overall I do prefer my bedroom.
    • Do you prefer to sit in one position for the entire writing session or change positions often, or do you need the freedom and space to get up and act out scenes before writing them? I usually switch if I feel like I'm cramping my hands, with carpal tunnel syndrome its conducive to good health much less good writing.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined? I've been able to do a chore then get back to writing; nothing breaks up my session too much. More than naught its my own energy that breaks it up.
  5. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Doesn't matter. For music, I'll have my radio on. For silence, I read my stuff aloud. I don't have a preference.

    Nope. Couch, chair, bed, desk. Floor, even.

    I write in a notebook or a journal, which can be taken anywhere.

    Once I get started writing, I just sit there and write, and then read what I've written aloud. I mostly get my ideas when I'm showering.

    Not much. If I'm interrupted before I start writing, the writing doesn't even get done, as I forget what I wanted to write. Usually, I try to write at night, before bed. Less interruptions.

    For RPs, it's a different matter. I think up my post throughout the day or when I'm in the bathroom, and then I write it. Or, the previous post will spurn on some writing. I generally have a different process for RP posts than I do general writing, though Darth Writer's Block can still strike.
  6. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    I actually write better with music on; I wrote my papers that way in school, too.

    I like to sit in one spot until my energy/ideas run out. It means I usually knock out several posts or chapters at once ... and then that's it for the month 8-}
  7. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    You have my respect I can only get three pages done at the most, especially if its a complicated plot. I get tired by an hour. I can get one of my fics done in five days If I write two pages a day. if I'm lucky I'll get more than two. One of my stories takes me three days. Which reminds me...I need to write before I go out of town (forgot)
  8. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    • Do you prefer silence or music? If the latter, what kind and volume? If the former, what steps do you take to eliminate background noise? Music; classical or soundtracks and on low volume
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written? my officechair
    • Do you like to sit at a desk inside, take your laptop out into your backyard or to a local park, even go to the library to write? a desk and I have only a desktop with a very good oled screen and a 20-years old keyboard
    • Do you prefer to sit in one position for the entire writing session or change positions often, or do you need the freedom and space to get up and act out scenes before writing them? I just sit and write
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined? Interruptions are rare nowadays. But up until last year my pager had me running away to an emergency (firefighter) and coming back to just shut off the computer
  9. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    • Do you prefer silence or music? If the latter, what kind and volume? If the former, what steps do you take to eliminate background noise?
    Music, but I can work in silence too. Often my music will be on the louder side and often it will be similar to what I am writing (ie, sad music if I'm writing something sad).
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written?
    No, I just usually sit in bed.
    • Do you like to sit at a desk inside, take your laptop out into your backyard or to a local park, even go to the library to write?
    Again, I usually sit on my bed to write, but sometimes, if I have a lot of time to kill between classes and not a lot of work, I'll go to the university library. I never go outside, just because where I live, it's either snowing, or very sunny and outdoor lighting does not work with laptops.
    • Do you prefer to sit in one position for the entire writing session or change positions often, or do you need the freedom and space to get up and act out scenes before writing them?
    I change my position all the time, but that probably has to do more with my physical needs. I usually dont get up to act out scenes, but if it's a lightsaber battle or some sort of physical fight, I might.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined?
    Umm, it really depends on the day and how ADD I'm feeling. Sometimes it's a lot, sometimes it's hardly any. But often I write late at night so I dont worry about humans interrupting me (only cats).

    One tip I have for helping people 'get stuff out' is to set small word count goals. If I'm feeling really ADD, I'll say I have to write 200 more words until I can go for a snack.
    Admiral Volshe likes this.
  10. Admiral Volshe Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 8
    I can write with both, but I prefer music. It completely depends on the character. I have playlists for situations and moods. I usually will loop one of the songs from said playlists until I finish a chapter/scene. I do keep it about 50% volume. Loud enough to drown out the outside world but quiet enough that I can hear the characters "talk" inside my head.

    For silence, I'll usually have a fan on. If I put it on high power it acts as a white noise machine.
    It has to be completely silent or a continuous, soft noise, as I can't write with the repetitive noises that my house/fish tank/appliances like to make.

    My desk with my very comfy executive chair helps, but once the muse hits, I could be anywhere.
    I've taken a seat on random benches to write things down. :p

    I prefer to sit at a desk/table. My dining room table and desk are my favourites. As I said previously though, I really don't mind where I am once I get an idea.
    I don't always use a laptop either. I have a 'phablet' and a notepad that I always have with me.

    Oddly enough, I do have a problem writing in my notebook with a non-'gel' pen. It just makes things difficult for me.

    I sit for hours in the same spot. All the scenes happen in my head, so I have the bad habit of getting lost in them. It's like getting really involved in a show and not being able to leave the room.

    This one I'm not sure about. Some days I just can't find the groove and so I get frustrated with the smallest distractions. Other times there could be an apocalypse outside - complete with mass hysteria, of course - and I wouldn't care.

    ----

    One thing I'd like to note is that if I get distracted or lose the muse, I can often pick it back up by reading (or watching) something. Say I pick up an EU book, I can see things that inspire me to continue. Descriptions that spawn my own ideas. It starts me on making notes for future chapters and then I get back into writing whatever I was before the writer's block hit.

    My tip for you is just to find what works. If it stops working, change it up.
    That's much easier said than done, however..

    I agree with Briannakin's tips though. Set small goals. You'll get there, however slowly.
    Last edited by Admiral Volshe, Aug 24, 2013
  11. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    • Do you prefer silence or music? If the latter, what kind and volume? If the former, what steps do you take to eliminate background noise? I write with both music and no music. The music I listen to can be anything from soundtracks to anything in my iTunes player.
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written? No, I used to sit in a wooden chair with cushions but now I am sitting in a regular dining room chair. I have considered getting a recliner but if I do that I want a tray thingy for my laptop instead of the tray table I am using now.
    • Do you like to sit at a desk inside, take your laptop out into your backyard or to a local park, even go to the library to write? I've never used my laptop outside (glare on the screen) and never at a library. I have used it at a friend's house though.
    • Do you prefer to sit in one position for the entire writing session or change positions often, or do you need the freedom and space to get up and act out scenes before writing them? Sometimes I brainstorm doming chores or other tasks around the house so I can usually sit still for some writing. I will only leave my seat to either take a break (bathroom, food) do a task or just take a break.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined? Depends on why they are talking to me or whatever. I was annoyed yesterday when my mom was asking for my time when she was going through some of my oldest sister's old clothes and asking me and two younger sisters if we wanted any of them.
  12. moosemousse CR - FF:UK South

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2004
    star 6
    My favourite writing spot is the local Starbucks, believe it or not. There's people around mostly but it's never too noisy and there's an unlimited supply of coffee. A bit of music is good to keep the background from being too distracting. I don't get to go there to write that often though, but it's great during November as there are a few of us that go there to write for NaNoWriMo. Even if it's just me it's still great to go there as it's a good place for me.

    Normally though I sit at my desk. It's not really good for writing as it's where I always sit, good mood or bad. It makes it hard to write sometimes.

    One thing I can't stand is outside noise I can't control. Things like the hoover being put round or people talking. I just can't concentrate on anything.
  13. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    That's something I hadn't thought of. I am always sitting at the same chair at the same desk anytime I'm on the computer, including when I'm trying to write, and that may be the cause of my lack of motivation. Perhaps I need to establish a different spot that is solely for writing and nothing else, so that my brain automatically shifts into writing mode when I sit down at that spot.
  14. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    I've been known to write both papers and fanfic (but mostly papers) at Starbucks, Tim Horton’s (Canada's Dunkin Donuts), and at the local 24 hour diner. The caffeine is a perk, plus there are actually fewer distractions (less people needing your attention, and if it's 3am and you have a paper due at 10, there's less temptation to 'nap'). The diner has a few tables at the very back, near plug ins, so they often save those tables for students. If it's not busy (which it never is after 7pm) the servers don't care how long you stay.
  15. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 7
    When creativity was my vocation I lived in my studio. Yes, I have a favorite chair. And, depending on how far along on a deadline I happened to be, my music would vary. Never in volume, but on a scale from old 60's golden age Reggae to Hardcore.
  16. mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic & New Movies Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    I think writing environment can really effect your writing. I find that my preferred environment actually changes depending on my mood and/or what I'm writing.

    • Do you prefer silence or music? If the latter, what kind and volume? If the former, what steps do you take to eliminate background noise?
    Usually music, but only something without lyrics; I can't do lyrics at all. I prefer movie/TV soundtracks, but I do list to blues/jazz sometimes too. If I don't listen to music, I usually have white noise such as a fan. Volume, depends on what I'm writing, if it's something intense, the volume is usually pretty loud, otherwise loud enough to hear, but in the back ground.
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written?
    Nope. I'll move around because I feel stagnant if I stay in the same place for too long. Sometimes I'll be on the couch, sometimes on my bed, at the kitchen table, at my sewing table, on the floor, out in the yard... I think you get the point.
    • Do you like to sit at a desk inside, take your laptop out into your backyard or to a local park, even go to the library to write?
    I kinda answered this in the previous question, but I do like to go to coffee shops and the library to write. I also find that I'm the most productive someplace that doesn't have internet. ;)
    • Do you prefer to sit in one position for the entire writing session or change positions often, or do you need the freedom and space to get up and act out scenes before writing them?
    I do move around quite a bit, I'm a fighter normally, but I think I'm worse when I writing. I figure I drive the people a NaNo write-ins crazy! :p I don't often get up to act something out as I can pretty well see things in my head, but every now and then I will do so.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined?
    It depends on how they are distracting me... but it really doesn't take much to distract me. If it's something like a question or a discussion on writing, I'll be okay, but if it's anything else, I'm probably done for.
  17. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    And you have mine! I haven't been able (for a couple years now) to sit down several days in a row to write.
  18. Mando-Man Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2008
    star 2
    Do you prefer silence or music? If the latter, what kind and volume? If the former, what steps do you take to eliminate background noise?: Music definitely. Though I find that it differs depending on which of my OCs is the focal point at the moment. When I write events centered around Tyran Numeck I usually have Metallica, Korn or Slipknot playing while I’m writing because Tyran is a big angry Mando. When I write using Raven Varos I actually find my self listening to the theme song from Halo: ODST because it has a dark/dramatic air to it just like she does.

    Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written?: Actually wherever is comfortable works for me.

    Do you like to sit at a desk inside, take your laptop out into your backyard or to a local park, even go to the library to write?: I usually sit on my couch but I have worked on fics at the library.

    Do you prefer to sit in one position for the entire writing session or change positions often, or do you need the freedom and space to get up and act out scenes before writing them?: Normally its just one position.

    How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined?: I’m actually pretty good about being interrupted and being able to get back to writing and being able to continue on with whatever roll I might have been on. (a product of living in a crowded area I guess)
  19. Skywalker_Angel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2004
    star 1
    • Do you prefer silence or music? If the latter, what kind and volume? If the former, what steps do you take to eliminate background noise? I don't write a lot, but when I do I prefer to have soft music playing in the background.
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written? No, I can pretty much sit anywhere.
    • Do you like to sit at a desk inside, take your laptop out into your backyard or to a local park, even go to the library to write? I usually go outside by my swimming pool. We have a large deck with a big patio table, so I take my laptop out there. The stereo system can be played outside, so I still have my music.
    • Do you prefer to sit in one position for the entire writing session or change positions often, or do you need the freedom and space to get up and act out scenes before writing them? I don't act out scenes, but I do take breaks. After about half an hour of work, I'll walk around for a couple of minutes to stretch my muscles.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined? A whole lot. My kids (all five of them!:)) are typically always around, so I'm used to being interrupted and it doesn't bug me. I can easily slip right back into my writing.
    Last edited by Skywalker_Angel, Aug 26, 2013
  20. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    Do you prefer silence or music? SILENCE. Even the sound of a clock ticks me off. Get it? Ticks....me....off.
    Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written?I sit at a desk with a computer chair mostly, but I can write anywhere.
    Do you like to sit at a desk inside, take your laptop out into your backyard or to a local park, even go to the library to write? see above.
    Do you prefer to sit in one position for the entire writing session or change positions often, or do you need the freedom and space to get up and act out scenes before writing them? I don't act out scenes, but this is an intriguing idea.
    How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined? MUST HAVE QUIET!
    JediMaster_Jen and jcgoble3 like this.
  21. THE EVIL CLIFFIE Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2008
    star 2
    • Do you prefer silence or music? If the latter, what kind and volume? If the former, what steps do you take to eliminate background noise?
    Music, definitely, although that's generally because I write in noisy places. Something I can rock out to; exactly what varies depending on my mood and what I'm writing. In headphones, so pretty loud.
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written?
    • Do you like to sit at a desk inside, take your laptop out into your backyard or to a local park, even go to the library to write?
    I actually don't have a set environment; I try to, and have, written pretty much anywhere - at my desk, in a library, on a bench, even, recently, on a cross-country hike across Exmoor.
    • Do you prefer to sit in one position for the entire writing session or change positions often, or do you need the freedom and space to get up and act out scenes before writing them?
    This depends entirely on what I'm writing and where I am. Usually I'm okay with staying in one place, though.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined?
    Again, this changes; sometimes I can go through multiple distractions, sometimes I can distract myself from my work. It generally depends on how much I need to finish something - for my NaNo, I was pretty much undistractable, but for a random short, I have a LOT of trouble staying on track.
  22. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    In other words, you're more focused and productive when you have a deadline? I am often the same way.

    Procrastinators UNITE!... eh, maybe tomorrow. :p
    TrakNar and THE EVIL CLIFFIE like this.
  23. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Deadlines also help me to stay focused. Otherwise, I never finish anythi
  24. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    • Do you prefer silence or music? If the latter, what kind and volume? If the former, what steps do you take to eliminate background noise? Depends on my mood and if it's a song that has an influence on one of my fics.
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written? I can pretty much sit on anything.
    • Do you like to sit at a desk inside, take your laptop out into your backyard or to a local park, even go to the library to write? If I'm at my desk, I'm more likely than not to use my computer, if I'm outside, I'll usually write in a notebook or something.(yes, us pen and paper users still exist)
    • Do you prefer to sit in one position for the entire writing session or change positions often, or do you need the freedom and space to get up and act out scenes before writing them? As somebody else said, write with breaks.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined? Again, it depends on the mood I'm in. If I'm not in a terribly great mood, then it doesn't take that much distraction at all. If I'm in a good mood, then sometimes only somebody's house catching on fire can distract me (that's actually happened before)
  25. YodaKenobi VIP

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 27, 2003
    star 6
    • Do you prefer silence or music? If the latter, what kind and volume? If the former, what steps do you take to eliminate background noise?
    Silence, usually, although if I do listen to music it has to be something without any singing: classical, film & television scores, some jazz. If it has sung words, it's too distracting.
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written?
    No, I write in different spots all the time. If one area isn't working for me, I move to another part of the house. Sometimes I even write while standing.
    • Do you like to sit at a desk inside, take your laptop out into your backyard or to a local park, even go to the library to write?
    Rarely write outside my home at all, but as I said above, I don't stick to a desk either.
    • Do you prefer to sit in one position for the entire writing session or change positions often, or do you need the freedom and space to get up and act out scenes before writing them?
    I don't "act out anything," although sometimes I sound out the dialogue, and I do like to get up and walk around when thinking about things rather than just sitting staring at a computer screen or a blank sheet of paper.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined?
    It varies, but I would say in general, the less going on around me, the better for productivity and quality.


    Also, though this wasn't a question, I tend to write in lots of different ways rather than just sticking to one place. Sometimes I write on my desktop, sometimes on my laptop, sometimes I write longhand with those arcane notebooks and pens. Sometimes I'll even break out my Bluetooth keyboard and type on my iPad.
    Last edited by YodaKenobi, Aug 30, 2013
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