And no, the title isn’t misspelled.
As a writer, you know that there a number of factors that make the act of writing, creating and crafting more conducive in some locations than in others. Those factors include a certain time of day perhaps, or a playlist of music, open windows, light streaming in, or curtains drawn and cloaked in darkness. The location is important too – and usually involves a desk of some sort, a comfortable chair and keyboard and screen. But those are all tools, really.
What’s important, consciously or unconsciously, is the environment that includes all of those tools and the area that surrounds you when you write.
Some writer’s go to great lengths to fashion an environment that attempts to create more of those moments where everything comes together and you start typing and look up and wow, a thousand words are suddenly on the page. Some others have to steal whatever time or place they can in order to sate the savage beast that claws at the brain, snarling to make itself known through character or description.
Stephen King has told the story about how he used to write, tapping away at an old typewriter while sitting in the cramped laundry room of the trailer he and his wife were living in before Carrie was published. There are others that you can search for to get an insight, images that reveal something about the creative process of other writers or artists. They ranged from the clutter of a hoarder type, to the simplicity of the aesthetic.
If funds were no object, what type of environment would you create to nurture the Muse?
The truth is, you can write anywhere – in comfort and free from distraction, or at a coffee shop, on a busy sidewalk, cars honking and the white noise of life crashing around you as you struggle to put the words together. It’s your choice, what works best for your process.
I’m not a note taker. I don’t travel with or keep a journal. I don’t plaster my walls with 3×5 cards of characters, plot points, motivations and scenes. I guess I’m a rough kind of excavator, a crude sculptor. I chisel away at a mountain until the gleam of treasure shines forth. And that requires a setting more forgiving than the bustle of a coffee shop or someplace surrounded by noise or others.
I find myself drawn more to solitary rooms, quiet spaces – someplace that is removed, so I can hear the world telling me what needs to go on the page. I haven’t found my ideal space quite yet – I have one and I’m grateful for that – but it is far from ideal. So I tend to get very jealous of the time I have there. I try not to get snappish when someone interrupts – but its hard.
And when I can’t get to that environment, I get cranky – feeling as I’m wasting time, missing out on moments where certain words would’ve fit together to make something really worth reading.
So — what’s your ideal writing environment? And what do you do when you can’t get to that place?