Monday, September 13, 2010

Where do you write?

I'm one of those people who needs a routine for things. I don't sleep well if I'm not in my own bed, and I need a dark room. I've never been able to sleep on airplanes, and the first night in a new place is often a restless one.

Writing is the same way. I like to write at home, at my desk in my office. Preferably with the windows open for some fresh air, but I only get to do that in spring and fall. If I even take my laptop down to the kitchen table, I don't feel as productive. If my desk is too cluttered, I can't work well until I clear it. I think it's a Pavlovian thing. My brain perceives this space as a work space.

Sarah is different. She likes to write in cafes. I'm amazed by her ability to do this. I'd find that so distracting. I'd be eavesdropping on conversations and constantly pulled out of my writing by the sounds and movement around me. I can't even read in a cafe. If I'm alone and need something to do while I drink my coffee, I can knit. The most writing I seem to be able to accomplish in public is postcards. I'm a big fan of postcards.

When we were in Chautuaqua, of course, I had to write somewhere other than my own desk. Fortunately, our inn had several porches to which we could retreat. I found the smallest, most secluded one on the side of the house, facing neither the street nor the lake. The one with the fewest distractions.

I've heard of people who make a playlist for writing. That amazes me too. I know I'd be singing along with parts of the music. My only playlist is crickets. And sometimes the dog barking.

Are you a routine kind of person, or can you write anywhere?


Anonymous said...

I can writer anywhere, but I'm most creative at the bookstore with my own playlist on my iPod or iPhone.

Someday, I hope to have a room in my house dedicated to writing.

Scott said...

For the most part, at the kitchen table. I've been known to write while sitting on the couch or in a chair. I love my laptop for the flexibility. I have a way cool office, and yet I don't write in there as often as I should/could! Why? Well, our dogs are kept in the sunroom directly off the kitchen. They can see me there, so they don't whine or bark to disrupt my writing. : )

Becky Mushko said...

I write in my head wherever I am, but when I put my ideas in a fixed form, I usually use my iMac on the cluttered desk in my study. Usually a few cats sit on the desk and keep me company. Sometimes I use a laptop, but not often.

Anonymous said...

i change over time. used to be like sarah, in cafes; now, like you, at my desk at home.;)

Lisa said...

Before I had kids I was quite picky about my writing space--clean desk, quiet environment. Now, if I demanded that I would never write a word. I've learned to snatch writing moments anywhere and anytime I can. And step by teeny-tiny step, I'll eventually finish this novel!

Hopefully before my kids are grown! (They're 3 and 6 mo right now.)

Sarah said...

I do like the Barnes and Noble cafe! It gets me out of my place and away from any number of things I could/should be doing at home.

But... NaNoWriMo did teach me that I could write anywhere. I do often write at home, even though B&N is still my favorite spot.

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

I never considered myself a creature of habit, but after reading your post I am re-thinking this.

I am most productive when I write in my office. I also have trouble sleeping away from home and insomnia kicks in if the lights are on. Yup, that cinches it, I'm a routine kind of gal.