The Writing Environment

Where one writes can impact how the words come out. If the flow is stunted or a gusher and if you are happy with the end results. There are two places where I write, normally. One is my desk in the office. During the day, that area is mostly quiet but the parrots that live in there can get demanding of input and scratches and lots of their favorite foods. The dog wants to go out, see if there are any cats to chase out there, then come back in to sit for a few minutes. This cycle repeats over and over.

Astrid Goofy girl
“I got her trained.”


The second place where I write is in a local independent coffee shop called The Blue Mug. I meet my best writing friends who are also my critique group every Wednesday at 9. Or 9:30. 10 at the very latest. The place is noisy but I have headphones that keep out the chatter. And I listen to Thunderstorms while writing. I discovered that was the most soothing and inspiring noise for me, better than music.

071119 phone case

Reddit has a subReddit on writing and asked the question of where people write. The quote from Stephen King’s On Writing suggests using a room with a door so you can shut the world out. I think I use my headphones as a portable door. Even at home, when my husband is around, we both use headphones to make it easier to concentrate on what we are doing. One of the comments is from a writer who uses his phone, wherever he goes, which impressed another respondent. But do people know that Peter V. Brett wrote his first novel on his phone? He continues to write that way because his home has been invaded by a loud, smelly, small person.

071119 clean desk

Pan MacMillan looked at the writing spaces of several authors and contracted desk envy. I like Marie-Helene Bertino’s desk and her description of cats and dogs and their souls. I only have a visiting cat, but she is sweet and loving as long as food shows up daily. The dog, on the other hand, is a riotous collection of emotions and moods.

The HuffPost did a similar examination of writing spaces authored by Allison K. Gibson. She mentions a panel at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I love that event, but it is a bit of a drive and lots of walking so not an every year event for me. Anyway, a panel of writers was asked where they did their writing and the answer from one of the writers was banal. On the couch with the TV on. Sigh.

071119 cute desk

Just write” is not only the most constant advice given to writers but the opening remark on this article, 5 Authors on Why, Where, and How to Write. My favorite is Marissa A. Ross, wine editor for Bon Appetite magazine. A photo of her notebook shows a large sticky note inscribed, “Don’t Read the Comments”. And she is shown wearing a Playboy t-shirt and drinking from a bottle of wine. With one in reserve. So elegant!

071119 antique desk

There is a lot of information out on this subject. Apparently, few writers are like me and write wherever and whenever they can. I started working on my first book using a computer at my company and taking advantage of downtime while the mainframe compiled the day’s transactions. I used floppy discs to save my work and take it with me. If none of the places I have touched on inspires you to Just Write, here’s a list of 22 places that might attract you.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.

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