Supposedly, every writer needs their own sanctuary for writing. I’m not sure I entirely agree with that, at least not all the time. Before I get to where I write, let’s look at where some other writers write.
In On Writing, Stephen King says he writes in a spacious, skylighted study that’s a converted stable loft at the rear of his house in Maine. He once had a giant oak desk in the middle of the room. After sobering up, he got rid of that desk and replaced it with a desk half the size. It sits in one corner of the room under an eave. King prefers to write with no outside stimuli, not even a window with a view. He does listen to rock music, though, such as AC/DC. Seems like outside stimuli to me.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch states in The Freelancer’s Survival Guide she has two offices. The one where she writes is devoid of all external communication. No internet, no phone, no TV. She even has a separate laptop to write on in there with no internet browser or games installed. Her second office is where she communicates with the outside work, i.e. email, twitter, phone, etc. She likes to listen to classical music while writing.
Kevin J. Anderson lives in Colorado and is an avid hiker. He takes a handheld recorder with him on hikes and dictates chapters that he later has transcribed. I assume he then sits somewhere at a computer to edit.
Ironically, I didn’t start writing until after the birth of my youngest daughter. Guess whose room formerly was the office? The office desk is now downstairs in the family room where it’s cold and dark. And the back of the chair isn’t comfortable, though that hasn’t changed.
I’ve done most of my writing at the kitchen table or the bar top separating the kitchen and dining room. This is less than ideal. I can’t leave my laptop there because it’s also where I eat. If I write in the mornings before the family awakes, I’m afraid the light will hasten their getting up, which would result in zero productivity. If I write in the evenings, my wife probably feels she can’t watch Hulu or listen to music without disturbing me because of the open floor plan of our dining room and living room. If I write during nap times on the weekends, productivity again is an issue unless my wife takes our oldest daughter out somewhere since she rarely naps any more. Still, I’ve managed to be fairly productive.
I’ve also written a bunch while traveling for work. Though I only have 3-4 business trips a year, I use the travel time to write. Some of my most productive periods are while on a plane or train. I enjoy writing then so much I get annoyed (unreasonably so) when I must take a red-eye because I need to sleep instead of write.
I even began my first stories while on a business trip. On a Sunday before the start of a conference, I sat poolside that afternoon finally putting words on the screen, though I had to sit in the shade to see my screen. Regardless, it wasn’t a terrible way to start this adventure.
Like Rusch, I too enjoy listening to classical music, though usually only when I need to drown out external noise. My preference is more for movie soundtracks. Anything with words distracts me.
Let me know in the comments where you write.