In the business world, it seems most work environments are the same. Whether it’s a cubicle, an office, or a receptionist desk, things tend to stay constant. Often a local radio station plays softly in the background. People’s fingers click across keyboards, computer screens glowing in the space. I often find it interesting that, while similar, no two writers create in the same environment.
For me, there has to be music playing in the background. If it is an intense scene, then the tone of the music has to match the tone of the events. I don’t have a designated place, but I typically write the most in my living room. This space is open enough that I don’t feel Closter phobic. But I also have access to windows looking outside. The best view is the mountains. I think because in the summer, when most of my writing gets done, I can watch storm clouds roll over the rough cliffs. Another area I like to look at is the desert garden in my backyard. I imagine the location would change if I lived in a house full of people. Solitary seems to be the only constant amongst writers. I write the best in the evening or early morning, when the light outside is changing. Add candles burning inside and I have the recipe for a great writing experience…most of the time.
This can look weird for those who don’t write. In college, our neighbors would come over to see what I was doing. My dad even got yelled at when I was a teenager because he kept coming into my room, disrupting my thought process. I understand now that a teenager cooped up in her room all afternoon created a curious father needing to investigate. The funniest incident occurred when I was living with my brother and writing The Lord of Nightmares. The room was illuminated only by the computer screen and a couple candles. It was a pretty dark scene, so I’m pretty sure a dreary Beethoven piece was playing. My brother came in, frowned, then asked if I was worshipping Satan. I sarcastically answered yes, noticing only after he left a paper from my research for a demonic character sitting in plain view on the table. Yes, it was on satanic worship.
There is no set cocktail for creativity. Writers argue whether writing on a computer or by hand is the best method. I, for one, am driven by the sound of my keyboard clicking, but I grew up with technology. Some have to have silence. Some write outline upon outline and some just dive into the blank page. No one method produces better quality than others. Despite the stereotype, I have never actually met someone who writes in a coffee house. I love that creativity cannot be contained in a stereotypical how-to. While that fact may be frustrating at times, is the only way to stay fresh. So happy writing everyone, no matter how you do it!