Monday, September 29, 2014

Writing environments

Everyone writes differently, and it takes everyone a little bit of time to get themselves in "the zone".  I've started meeting with a local, non-work writing group on Saturday mornings, and the vibe between that and my work-related writing group is very different.

There's been a lot said about making the perfect writing environment, and getting yourself in the right mind set to write.  I've also heard that some writers try to avoid relying on specific rituals and setting up the perfect place, because it limits when and how you can write.  I can see both sides of the coin, and for myself, there are a couple of things that help, but I don't think they're absolutely necessary to get me to write.  They certainly help, and I definitely feel more productive when I have them.  It's pretty clear when you see what I carry in my bag with me at all times - a way to write, a way to listen to music, and a way to read.

Music is something I have to have in pretty much all parts of my life.  I always have either music, podcast, or audiobook going at my desk at work and when I'm on the bus or train to and from work.  I am a big fan of playlists, and have several of them that help with different moods I'm in.  If I'm trying to write and particularly if I'm editing, I need to listen to something that doesn't have the kind of lyrics that will distract me.  Rodrigo y Gabriela and any performance of Andrés Segovia's work are high on the list of music that I can write to.

Reading has always been something that I need to do in order to feel like myself.  I used to carry at least two or three paperback books with me at all times (which helps explain why I've always carried large messenger bags, instead of dainty purses), but thanks to the beauty that is the e-reader, I'm able to carry essentially all of my favorite and new books with me at all times.  It's been one of the best ways to help me come down from an anxiety attack, as it allows me to remove myself from whatever situation has triggered me by taking me away for a minute.

This is where my writing habits come into play.  If I can have some music to put in the background, and a moment to read to clear my mind, whether it's on a full laptop or just scribbling on a notepad, I feel like I can move forward.  It won't be the most polished sometimes, but I don't need to make every sentence perfect (as anyone who's ever been one of my beta readers or even reads this blog can tell).  It gives me a conduit to exorcise the words floating around my head, and that's what I need.

What about you?  Do you need to have the perfect environment to get the creative juices flowing, or can you write anywhere, any time?

This week, I was only able to work four of the last seven days.  The week essentially kicked my butt, but I'm gearing up for the next week and I fully intend to make a comeback this week.  Wish me luck.