Thursday, September 07, 2006

Where do you write?

I've been thinking about writing environments lately, and how very different are the processes of the various Wyrdsmiths. I'm an outdoors writer whenever possible—well as close to outdoors as you can get in Wisconsin without being eaten alive by mosquitoes.

In my current home I have a second floor screen porch that looks out over our backyard and a city park. It's a small town and the park is empty of anything but plants and bunnies most of the time with the occasional deer for spice.

Before that we had an apartment that backed onto a golf course and I would write mostly in a couch facing the course. The apartment's back yard and a line of trees separated us from the course, so it was a very parklike view.

And before that in our little house in St. Paul, I mostly wrote on the front porch. The view wasn't as nice because it faced our neighbors, but we had a huge pine tree on one side and a shaggy hedge on the other.

Which brings me to the biggest common factor—green. I really like to be surrounded by green in all the shades of nature while I write. It soothes me and makes my job easier.

Now, that doesn't mean I won't write without green, I've worked on stories sitting in hotel corners or on the floor of the Air and Space Museum surrounded by tourists. I can't not write. But I'm happiest outside.

So, where do you write? Are you an outdoors writer? Or does all that visual distraction drive you crazy? Do you prefer a corner in the basement with no distractions? Or a coffee house with the fragments of conversation providing subconscious cues?

7 comments:

Mari Adkins said...

We just moved from one side of our apartment complex to the other. Once "mosquito season" is over, I plan on spending time poolside - after the pool is closed for the Fall/Winter - at one of the picnic tables. The community clubhouse is just next door and is perfect, I think. There's a Pepsi machine, about six tables with umbrellas - and a score of fauna and flora.

Currently, I'm not writing anywhere. :( We've spent this last week moving, and I'm worn out. But once we settle in, I'll be back at either the dining room table or my little sofa with my pen and clipboard. At either, I have a nice view out of the sliding glass door - trees, birds, and a rolling hillside.

Sometimes, I'll hop the bus and take myself off to the main library downtown or walk over the hill to the branch library. Something about a library atmosphere does something. ;-)

I can't not write. But I'm happiest outside.

Same. ;-)

lydamorehouse said...

I write in bed.

This, of course, is a lot easier now that I have a laptop (kidding.)

Naomi said...

I very much prefer a desk, for ergonomic reasons. (And I really mean that, despite the snickering you hear from the people who've seen the way I slouch, prop up my feet, etc.) If I could arrange for a nice desk and office chair on a screened porch, preferably with a monitor and docking station already set up, I'd probably like that option. But since I hate typing on the laptop keyboard and looking at the laptop screen, I do most of my writing in my home office.

Mari Adkins said...

If I could arrange for a nice desk and office chair on a screened porch, preferably with a monitor and docking station already set up

That sounds lovely!

Kelly McCullough said...

Working at a desk kills my back. Semi-reclined with a laptop spares both my back and my tedonditis.

Muneraven said...

3/4s or more of my first novel was written in Starbucks and/or Dunn Bros. in downtown Saint Paul. There are quainter coffeehouses around, but I'm not there to look at the decor.

The location didn't inspire the novel I was working on much then, but it seeped into my subconscious and the book I am NOW working on is an urban fantasy set in downtown Saint Paul.

I could never write where I could see the outdoors. Animals and nature distract me far more than people do.

Sean M. Murphy said...

I write in our home office. I also enjoy writing outside, but I have to pretty much guarantee myself distraction free, so on go the headphones. Since I no longer have a laptop, I pretty much stick to the office. I can close the door, put the headphones on, and subsume.

Speaking of ergonomics, though, I tend to write on a wireless keyboard that I rest on my lap. This has greatly mitigated the strain on my tendons, and is no where near as heavy as a laptop, or as hot.