Monday, April 27, 2009

What Kind of Environment Do You Like to Work In?

Today, I have two questions for you, and they apply to anyone who works. First one, what kind of environment do you prefer to work in?

Here are some sample answers from authors below to get you thinking.

I need noise and interruptions and irritation: irritation and discomfort are a great starter. The loneliness of doing it any other way would kill me.
by Anita Brookner

The actual process of writing. . .demands complete, noiseless privacy, without even music; a baby howling two blocks away will drive me nuts.
by William Styrom

Second question is do you want to have a view while you work?

Once again, there are some interesting answers.

I like a room with a view, preferably a long view. I dislike looking out on gardens. I prefer looking at the sea, or ships, or anything which has a vista to it.
by Norman Mailer

The ideal view for daily writing, hour on hour, is the blank brick wall of a cold-storage warehouse. Failing this, a stretch of sky will do, cloudless if possible.
by Edna Ferber

As a writer, I can’t work unless it’s absolutely quiet. My desk is in front of the window, and I always have the blinds open, so I can see outside. The daily changes in weather can forecast the scenes for my stories, especially, if they are set in that season.

Okay, I’ve told you what some authors need for their work environment, and I have told about mine. Now, I’m dying to hear your answers.

See you next week.



Christie Craig said...


I need my desk, my office, and my computer. I'm not one of the writers who can go to the coffee shop and write. When I'm writing non-fiction, I can listen to music, but when I'm working on fiction, I need silence. I think it has something to do with the side of the brain I use.

Marianne Stephens said...

I don't like any noise while I write...but I did think about putting in a TV so I can check on baseball games since I'm a big fan!
Every writer does "their own thing" that works for them. I keep my dictionary and thesaurus handy for reference.
And, always have water or juice to drink nearby.

Wilburta Arrowood said...

Sandy, it always interests me to see how other writers work. I do a lot of my writing in the car (with hubby driving.) He is usually fairly quiet, but will brainstorm, or ask a question now and then, and of course, the scenery is a constantly moving thing. Other times, I like to write on our screened in patio with Scott Joplin playing on the cd player. I cannot work with vocal music, because it distracts my train of thought, but instrumentals "set the tempo" for my writing speed.

Chiron said...

I need quiet but the door of my office stays open unless hubby decides on lunch and CNN. *smile* I do have a lovely window view of my front yard off to my left. I do enjoy gazing out of my window when I'm thinking.

Some people love to listen to music but for me it's distracting, I tend to listen!! I can block out noises outside unless it's too close and too erratic. While I've learned to tune out the lawnmower, a weed-whacker with it's uneven start and stop sounds drives me bonkers! I have to throw up my hands and give up until it stops. *laughs*

Nice post, Sandy!!


Anonymous said...

Usually I sit on the couch with the TV on for background noise or I listen to my writing music. If it is a nice day, I will take my office outside. I love to see and hear the birds. I like to look up and see the clouds float by. That is my view, otherwise I'm inside with background noise.

Great blog, Sandy!


Carol Ericson said...

When I'm writing, a little background noise is OK, but I can't listen to music because I like to sing too much! Sometimes I dream about adding a room to the back of our house to use as an office with lots of windows to look out onto our backyard, but the reality is my computer is in our office which has windows that look onto the side of our house and the fence we share with the neighbors! Or I write in my office at work, which is a cubicle in a big, windowless room that used to be a warehouse! It all seems to work for me anyway!

KT Bishop said...

I can watch a football game, listen to you tube or imeem music while writing. My four-year-old niece and nine-month-old niece usually sit in the room interfering is where I get my best stuff. Several times, scenes come to my head.

Sandy said...


Does that mean you don't use the same side of your brain for fiction as you do for non-fiction? Now, that's interesting.

Thanks for stopping by.


Edie said...

I've written in noise in the past, but I'm used to the hum of my computer now. I face a wall, but I have a scenic view out the window on my right. I'd love to have a water view. I think that would inspire me to be creative.

Sandy said...


I'm the same way you are. I don't like any noise, and I don't think I could work with the tv on either. Smile.

Thanks for coming by, Marianne.


Sandy said...


What a great way to write riding in the car. I wish I could write long hand, but I think it's something you have to develop. It does sound relaxing though. Smiles.

Thanks for your comment.


Sandy said...

Thank you, Chiron. I loved your comment. Smile.


Sandy said...

Thanks, Liena. It sounds like you have a lovely view.


Sandy said...


I love to hum along with music, so I couldn't concentrate on getting the words written. lol

Did you ever think you might not get as much writing done if you had a great view? Smile.

Thanks for leaving a comment.


Sandy said...


Not everyone multi-tasks like you can. That's from being a sports journalist, and having to attend all those games you write about. Grin.

Thanks for your comment.


Sandy said...


I'm with you on the water view. I would love to be somewhere near the ocean. Smile.


Anonymous said...

Loved your blog.

I do need a view, which I discovered in Boston when I was working at my daughter's house. She keeps the blinds drawn (she lives on a narrow street with houses on the other side) but while I was working I had to keep them open! And I listen to Sirius jazz -- no commercials, just nice background music!


Sandy said...

Beppie, thanks for joining us. I don't blame your daughter for keeping the blinds drawn. There could be a peeking tom next door. I like to be able to see light, too.


Anonymous said...

Hello, Sandy, for me, i like the tv at low volume or my husband's voice in the background where I can turn and respond over my shoulder. I like to be surrounded by books while I write, in case I need to reach for one to check facts or get a dose of inspiration. -laura hogg

J Hali said...

Just me and my tiny light over the computer and music. I listen to tango or soundscapes. That's it for me!

Nice blog Sandy.

Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn) said...

Lol, complete silence is the epitome of bliss in writing! But I've learned to work around Star Wars fights, actual fights (until they're about to kill each other or cause serious body harm!), video games' annoying music, hubby watching the TV and zapping channels every zillionth of a second. Well, a normal day in my household!
But, it isn't really noise or the lack of a view that bothers me. I now write on the laptop, so I bring it with me into the living room which is set up like a big solarium, so lots of light (that helps, as long as it isn't falling directly on the screen. Yes, I know I'm completely anal!) What I really need is no interruption. When the creativity starts to flow, nothing jarrs me more than being interrupted every now and then. So give me a block of a few hours with no interruption and I'm in writing heaven.
Lovely post Sandy. Loved the reflections.

Sandy said...


I might even be able to handle the low hum of the TV in the background, but my husband is hard of hearing and has the TV blaring. lol That's a terrible distraction. Grin.

Thanks for your comment.


Sandy said...

Thank you, J. Hali.

The tango wouldn't work for me because I would want to get up and dance, or stay in my chair and sway to the music.


Sandy said...

Thanks, Z. Glad you enjoyed the post.

I agree with you on the interruptions. It causes more fights between my husband and I because he interrupts my writing. He's getting better, but only because he's starting to take my second career more serious.


Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Sandy, I tried this yesterday, but it wouldn't go through.

With 3 kids in the house, I've had to be able to write with anything going on. I prefer quiet, but do what I need to do. :) One day I wish to have a my own heated/air conditioned gazebo with a landscape waterfall and pond to gaze at. Or a lake in the mountains would be great, too. :) Time to go buy my lottery ticket.

Vanessa Kelly said...

Sandy, I need quiet and lots of it! I do like a window, though, so I don't feel like I'm locked up in prison!

Linda LaRoque said...

Hi Sandy,
The main thing for me is a comfortable chair, my keyboard at the right height for typing, and the right frame of mind. I can write away from home and in public places if the noise level isn't too high. Some of the best writing I've done is while waiting for appointments and using a spiral notebook and pen.
Sandy, I hope you'll follow my blog so I can send you a copy of Recipe for Romance.

Sandy said...

LOL Stacey, my husband keeps hoping to win the lottery, too.

Your heated/airconditioned gazebo with a waterfall sounds wonderful. I'm afraid if I had something like that I would never work, but just sit there gazing at it.

Thanks for coming by.

Sandy said...


Thanks for stopping by. It sounds like you and I are very similar in the way we like to work.


Sandy said...

Thanks for stopping by, Linda.

You and Willie can both write with a spiral notebook. I wish I could, but since I use the computer so much writing in long hand has become very difficult.


Linda Kage said...

If I have a good idea going in my head, I think I could write anywhere any time. But when things aren't flowing so well, I usually like quiet. And the view? I guess it depends on where I'm at.

Anastasia Rabiyah said...

Environment: I need a laptop, an outlet, and that's about it. Maybe coffee if I'm a little on the drowsy side. I've learned that if I want to write, I can't be picky about where I am when inspiration strikes. I've been guilty of scribbling dialogue on the backs of receipts at a stop light. Dangerous, I know. Ideally, I'd be in a cabin in the woods all alone with some Enya and a manslave to cook and clean for me.

To View or Not to View: Did I mention the manslave? Ha. Actually a view would be great, but again, I make do with what I have. If I'm staring in wonder at something other than the words on my screen, I'm not getting anything done.

Anastasia Rabiyah

Sandy said...


Thanks for stopping by, and I'm so sorry its taken me so long to leave a comment for you.

I agree that if my writing is flowing nothing would stop me because I wouldn't hear anything. Smile.

Sandy said...


LOL Oh boy, would I like a man slave to wait on my every whim while I write. Not likely in this lifetime, since I have an alpha male. We can dream though. Grin.

Hugs back.