Discussion What is your writing environment?

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

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  1. kayladie97 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2003
    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 generally can't listen to music while I write; however, I don't have to have complete silence. The TV is usually always on at my house just for background noise.
    Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written? I don't have a laptop, only a desktop, so I'm pretty limited in that! I have to use my desk with my comfy office chair. If I'm trying to finish a fic on deadline, I will sometimes sneak my flashdrive into work and use my work computer to write.
    • 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, limited here, as I don't have a 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? I usually sit in one position. I don't get up to act scenes out, but I do find myself getting restless and having to get up and walk around a bit sometimes.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined? Distraction is not as much of an issue as is losing the muse! I have to be in a certain frame of mind to be able to write, and if I'm not there, it ain't happening (unfortunately).
    Jade_Pilot likes this.
  2. Jade_Pilot Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    I hear you about the Muse, Kayladie! I often have writing spells where I just have to flit around a bit.
  3. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    There have been times I haven't been in the mood--I learned never force yourself to write, it'll just feel odd as you're doing it.
  4. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I never force myself to write, even if it means prolonging a creative drought. If I force the words, everything that comes out will be garbage.
  5. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    • 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 all the way. iTunes, YouTube, you name it, I use it to listen. I use music to help influence my posts; for example, if I'm writing something cheery or full of energy, I use good music to get me in that frame of mind. Same with more poignant pieces or morose sequences.
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written? Just my usual desk 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 at my work desk, which is where I do all of my homework, school stuff, personal Internet use, etc.
    • 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? Since most of my scenes play out in my mind, I typically sit. However, I sometime change positions in the chair so that I don't sit one way for too long.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined? Depends. If it's something that I really have going, not much will stop me outside of a major issue.
  6. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4

    If I sleep on it, things fix themselves.
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  7. amidalachick Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2003
    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! It can't be too loud, or it becomes distracting, but it definitely helps me ignore other sounds and focus on what I'm doing. It also helps me stay motivated - if I really need to get something done, I'll play a song like Eye of the Tiger or Gonna Fly Now over and over. :D And if I'm writing something inspired by a song, I'll listen to that particular song until I'm either sick of it or done writing.
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written?
      Not really. I usually sit at my desk chair, because that's where I do most of my writing.
    • 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 stay at my desk in my bedroom, or occasionally sit at the kitchen table. I don't like carrying my laptop around.
    • 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?
      It depends. If I'm really into what I'm doing, I will sit for hours without leaving my computer. If I'm not in a writing/studying mood, I will get up every few minutes to walk around the house, look out the window, put stray clothes away, or otherwise procrastinate.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined?
      Again, it depends. If I'm really into something, I can block out almost anything. If I'm not so into it, almost anything can distract me. :p
    Last edited by amidalachick, Sep 3, 2013
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 7
    1. I can write with or without muic. 2-3. I sit at my regular desk with a cushioned chair. 4-5. I can block out distractions and write for quite a while if I'm into what I'm dong LOL

    --

    I like to write dialogue often or the middle scene and then fill it out by writing descriptions and/or the beginning and end parts. ;)
  9. DaenaBenjen42 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2005
    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?
    It depends on what I'm trying to write, how the emotional intensity is for the scene in question... and, usually, I'll turn on some background music or my favorite comedy routine. Yes... comedy routine. If I end up needing silence (which isn't very often), I leave everything off.
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written?
    Nope.
    • 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?
    Haven't tried the Library yet, don't have a laptop, and the most comfy spot to write is the one where it's just me and a composition book. Going to the park would mean distractions... which would be detrimental to writing, but makes for excellent dog walking.
    • 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?
    Again, it depends on what the scene is... if I'm not getting there, I have to either think about it some more, get up and act out the motions, or demonstrate for someone else. Example: I had Luke close a door with his back when he'd tried to close it and ended up leaning on it. I went to actually do that and found out it was really loud. (Slammed door equals noise.) So... seriously, it depends, but most of the time sitting down in one position while I write.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined?
    It takes a lot to completely ruin a writing session, once I finally get down to writing... and I can handle plenty, so long as I get to go back to writing when the distraction is over.
    Last edited by DaenaBenjen42, Sep 8, 2013
  10. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I've since changed my writing environment. The radio is stashed in the closet and replaced by a TV. It also changes my drawing environment. I'm now trying to figure out how to reincorporate my stereo into my living room setup so I can draw.
  11. jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 5
    So with our Word Race about to start, meaning people will need to be productive, I thought I'd give this thread a bump. We've gained quite a few new faces in the year-plus since this thread died, who might want to share their idea of a productive environment, and some people's preferences might have changed since then.

    I am one whose preferences have changed. I'll just re-answer the original questions (quoted with my original responses for reference):

    Nowadays, these are my answers:
    • Neither; I need white noise, preferably at a volume just below that which would hinder normal conversation. I can't handle music that forces itself into my ears clearly, but it's fine if it can be easily tuned out to where it can blend into the background noise. Silence, while it used to be my preference, now drives me crazy to where I can't focus.
    • I don't write at my desk anymore. I prefer to take my laptop to the local 24-hour Tim Hortons. It's better than the library because there is more white noise, fewer annoying kids, and better hours, plus I can have Timbits and a drink sitting next to me (the library doesn't allow any food or drinks inside, not even a bottle of water). I've also rearranged the way my laptop is set up on my desk slightly to make it easier and quicker to pack up, so that objection is gone as well. Recently, I gave Panera Bread a try, and found that I can write just as well there, but they aren't open as late as I'd like and the drive is longer than Tim Hortons (~20 minutes each way instead of 5). Still, I might go there occasionally. However, when I need to write and can't get out of the house, I've designated my bed as a writing spot. I put my laptop at the head of the bed on a board, place my pillows in front of it, then lie on my stomach propped up by my elbows and the pillows with the sheets pulled up to my neck. Once I get into this position, I've trained my brain to automatically shift into writing mode. The catch is that this doesn't work well unless the house is otherwise empty, which is not common, but it's available as an emergency option.
    • I mostly sit or lie in one position these days. At Tim Hortons, I'll alternate from sitting normally to propping my legs up on the other chairs at the table, but otherwise, it's rare for me to shift positions. Part of that change comes from the fact that it was far easier to shift positions at my desk due to the arrangement of the room than it is at Tim Hortons or in bed.
    • I'm still easily distracted, but I've gotten better at getting going again afterward. It only takes me a few seconds to lose my train of thought, and can then take as much as 10 minutes or so to get going again at the rate I was going before, but I can usually get going again from a single distraction. However, give me a series of repeated distractions or an ongoing distraction that won't stop, and I'll eventually have to call it quits for the night. An example of the latter (ongoing distraction that won't stop) is sitting at Tim Hortons when a traveling family comes in, gets ice cream for everyone, and then completely fails to supervise their toddler by letting him run wild screaming all over the place and totally ignoring him while Mom, Dad, and the older kids just sit and chat over their ice cream. This happened to me once, and completely ruined the session before it even began. I had to pack up and come back two nights later to write what I had wanted to write.
    So what do you prefer? If you've already posted in this thread, check your answers and see if they still hold true. Do they? If not, how have they changed? If you haven't posted in here already (either because you missed it the first time around or because you weren't here yet at that time), why don't you take a minute and let us know what your preferred environment is? Perhaps you have a trick or two that someone else could use to become more productive. :)
    Findswoman likes this.
  12. ThreadSketch Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2013
    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?
      • When actively writing, absolute silence, as much as possible. When plotting or needing inspiration, however, music is essential - I've blathered on before at length about making crazy-long customized playlists to "soundtrack" entire fics.
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written?
      • Only by default. :p My old MacBook needs the power cord plugged in at all times, so I have to sit on the living room loveseat. But that's fine. I'm addicted to sitting cross-legged anyway.
    • 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 answer above. Inspiration has the annoying habit of hitting me either right at bedtime or while I'm working at the office, though, so I now keep a tiny little notepad by the bed and if I really have to, I'll open Notepad on the work desktop and quickly jot down my thoughts. I always feel a little guilty doing that, but I've learned the hard way that I won't retain ideas for long if I don't record them, so I keep bursts like that down to less than 5 minutes and no more than twice a day. Then I'll print the document out and take it home to transfer.
    • 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'm an unapologetic couch potato, so once I sit I'm down for the count, lol. Everything is mental for me, so I never get up and rehearse scenes physically (although I used to do that as a young kid, pacing around my room imitating character voices from my favorite shows, heh).
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined?
      • Not much. More than a few minutes and I have to call it quits. If it's in a really inconvenient spot, I just spew a bunch of fast, messy notes on the screen in an attempt to remember as much as possible what I was planning at that point where I dropped off.
    BONUS: Now, no matter how piddly an update I make to my current fic docs, I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS back it up to a new USB drive. This clunker of mine is 6 years old and cranky and there's no telling when it'll finally take a dirt nap. Of course, my bigger problem then will be having no internet access whatsoever, but still...priorities, man! o_O

    This guy's like, "I know that feel, bruh."

    [IMG]
    Findswoman and jcgoble3 like this.
  13. jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 5
    Guilty. :p I'm 27 years old, close to 28, and I still do that. My dad looks at me weird and thinks I've gone crazy, sometimes to the point of wondering out loud, in a completely serious tone of voice, whether I need to be committed to a mental institution. 8-}
  14. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I'm almost 34 and I still do that. Thankfully, I live alone, so only my cat has to deal with it. And my neighbors, if I get loud enough. They probably think I'm nuts.
    jcgoble3 likes this.
  15. Goodwood Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 5
    It's a consistent fact of life: all the great innovators, creators and writers/performers are at least a little bit unhinged. :)
    jcgoble3 likes this.
  16. Chyntuck Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2014
    star 5
    We should all answer this!
    • 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, absolute silence. Listening to music takes all my attention, I wouldn't be able to do anything useful at the same time. In my study back home I lock the door and close the windows, unless it's the middle of the summer and the neighbourdhood is empty.
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written?
    I've been using the same chair since intermediate school -- it's a plain, straight-backed chair and it's just the right height and width compared to my desk. But I also have a very old, very deformed little sofa and I move there with my laptop on my knees when I'm stuck on a scene. I have a whole setup for this, with a low table just large enough for my coffee, notepad and ashtray. I'm a bit neurotic when it comes to those things -- the coffee, notepad and ashtray even have their specific corner on the table, and there's no way I can start working if the disposition is wrong.
    • 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?
    My study. Nothing can replace my study [face_love]
    • 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 like to pace or just move to the sofa without the laptop, to develop a scene in my head before I write it. I actually spend a lot of time staring at the ceiling :p But once I start writing, I go in bulldozer mode and don't move an inch until I'm done.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined?
    Distraction? What distraction? I lock the door and switch off the phone. The whole Chyntuck clan knows that disturbing me when I'm in there is a casus belli :mad:
    And I write all this from a chair that's entirely different from "my" chair. I'm going to try the sofa now.
    Mando-Man and Findswoman like this.
  17. skygawker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2014
    star 3
    • 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, but I can deal with a bit of background noise. I might move somewhere quieter if there are a lot of people around, but I can deal with it. In high school, I would sometimes write during lunch in a crowded cafeteria - I can tune the noise out if I have to. But I wouldn't deliberately listen to music while writing. While plotting, maybe.
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written?
    No, not particularly. It is nice to sit down in a cushy armchair rather than my uncomfortable dorm-room chair, though.
    • 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?
    Usually I either sit at my desk inside or curl up in an armchair in an empty lounge.
    • 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 sit in one position while I'm actually writing. I definitely do pace sometimes while I'm plotting out the next chapter or story, though.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined?
    I don't think any amount of distraction would completely ruin a writing session. I guess if it was something that took a lot of mental energy to deal with so that all I wanted to do was veg out and watch Netflix instead :p
  18. taramidala Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    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 can write with either. For music, I usually write while my custom playlist is on in the background. Or, if I have one specific song that is inspiring a particular scene, I will hit the repeat button and keep it on until the scene is over. That generally only happens when I'm writing late at night though. If I'm writing during the day there is typically some sort of background noise going on that I can't always avoid.
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written?
    Not a favorite, because I'm always writing in one of three places: my couch, my bed, or my desk at work.
    • 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?
    Desk is probably best, or like I said, my lap. If my laptop isn't handy, I have a notebook that I take everywhere and write in that.
    • 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 get up and move around or shift positions, mostly because I have a bad back and need to move often.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined?
    My biggest distractions are typically of my own making, so anything on the outside is pretty manageable.
  19. thedarkbeckons Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2013
    star 1
    • Do you prefer silence or music? I work with either. If I have writer's block I find putting on some tunes is a great way to start engaging my mind and get the creative juices flowing.
    • Do you have a favorite chair that you have to be sitting in to get anything written? Oddly enough, I don't recommend something comfortable. Something that keeps my back straight with a minimal amount of cushioning is ideal, because the more cushion there is the more "floaty" I feel, and therefore can't get down to brass tacks when I need to.
    • 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? Desks are my usual mode of work, although sometimes a change of scenery is necessary.
    • 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? Never really tracked this in my habits. I guess I sit in the same position most of the time. Arms outstretched to the keyboard, leaning against the back of my desk chair. My legs have the most variance of position, simply because they fall asleep after about ten-twenty minutes in the same position.
    • How much distraction (e.g. someone interrupting you) can you handle before the writing session is ruined? Depends on the day. Sometimes just ONE unwanted outburst is enough to set me off, and sometimes it doesn't matter what the heck is going on 'cause I'm IN THE ZONE. On an average day, I can take probably half an hour's worth of distraction before losing it.
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