Sunday, December 11, 2011

Writing Conditions

What conditions do you need to get your best writing done? Closed door, crowded coffee house? Computer or notebook? Can you just sit down to write, or do you need to wait for the time to be right?

These are the questions on  this week's blog chain, which comes from Tere Kirkland. How do you answer them? For me, I need quiet for my best writing. I prefer my office and my laptop with no other sounds. If there's a really intense scene I have to write, I sometimes use music but only instrumental. Movie scores are my fave... but often I use piano music as well.

My best time to write is early morning when the house is still asleep. I turn nothing on. Only me and my laptop with no email up or cell phone on. For some reason my brain just flows better and freer in the wee hours of morning. It's uninterrupted and I think that's the main benefit. However, since my day job is early morning five days of the week, I resort to mid-morning for writing, when kids are in school most days. It's great to have that time, don't get me wrong ... but there are so many distractions during the day, the flow is not as good. 

Now, with all that being said, optimum writing conditions are--and have to remain--very flexible. Having a part time job, two kids, a dog and a house to maintain means time to write is pushed to the back burner on a regular basis. When this happens, I have to compromise or it just doesn't get done. Sometimes I use spiral notebooks and pen, or notecards, or make use of my non-writing time by reading how-to writing books or Popular Science magazines. If I'm not writing, I'm filling my brain with ideas.

Reading for entertainment is something I do at night before bed. It's my fave time to delve into a story, and in all honesty, it's rare when fiction grabs me so much I read at all hours of the day. Mostly, it's reserved for night time. 
There, so that's way more info than you ever wanted to know about me, right? LOL 

Remember, there are a couple blogfests coming up this week. On Dec. 15 is 

This one should be fun... and simple. Just name the twelve things that you can't stand about the holidays. Yes, it's negative, I know. But everyone needs a good place to vent now and then... and let's face it, the holidays can be a royal pain in the neck. Click on the pic of Scrooge McDuck for blogfest HDQ and sign up for the fun!

And then the following day is 

An even easier blogfest where you simply repost an old post you feel has merit and the world should see again. Click on the pic to head over to blogfest HDQ. 

For more on writing conditions, be sure to check out Eric's blog, who posted yesterday, and Michelle McLean who posts tomorrow. Awesome peeps every blogger should know!!

Thanks so much for stopping by here! I love your visits and comments. Are you doing any of these blogfests? Why not?? Tell me about your optimum writing conditions. It's alway interesting to know how others work. 


Laura said...

My best writing time is the same as you - early morning. I like to start at 6am and write for two hours before going to work. Only problem is - I'm not a morning person and really struggle to get out of bed... so it doens't happen too often!

I'm doing the Scrooge McDuck fest - couldn't resist... and also running SantaFest :)

Loved to read a bit about your process

Sarah Pearson said...

I prefer to write late at night when everyone is sleeping. Doesn't always work out that way though :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If I wrote early in the morning it would be gibberish! My brain doesn't come on until at least ten in the morning. Sometimes later.
All ready for DL's blogfest!

Old Kitty said...

What a fun blogfest!!! I am in AWE that you are a morning person! I can't even function until the afternoon and that's only after some very very very strong coffee!

Take care

Joanne said...

I like to write in quiet, no music, no background noise. Unless it's a lite part of writing, blog posts, simple editing, then a little jazz is in the background ...

James Garcia Jr said...

Wow! P.K. My first thought was we were siblings seperated at birth, until I recalled how much older than you I am. ;) We're so much alike!
Lately I have been listening to film scores on Pandora while writing. In the morning on weekends, it is quiet, but any other time, I have to put on headphones in order to remove the distractions. And when I do, there can be no lyrics; it has to be classical music. I don't have a desk; my writing space is on the dining room table, so you can see how important drowning out distractions can be.
Lastly, I do my reading during breaks at work, and then again just before bed. It helps tire the eyes out. Am I right?
Take care...sis. *grins*


Angeline said...

How weird, I was thinking about writing a very similar post today! I'm doing both those blogfests - looking forward to being all bah humbug!

Christine Rains said...

I'm definitely not a morning person. I do my writing when my son is down for his nap in the afternoon. It has to be quiet. No TV or music. Or my hubby playing on the Xbox as he's doing right now! I might get some writing at night done, but usually I'm just too tired and I read before going to sleep.

L'Aussie said...

Great 'fest. I missed this one. Just as well as there's plenty I didn't miss.

I love hearing other's writing habits. Amazing how we're all so different.

I live ATM in a small apartment so not much privacy. I treat writing like going to work. I get up early and get a couple of hours in while everyone's in bed, then I pack up and go to the library at opening time so I get a table or room to myself. I stay there most of the day. I somehow write better in the library environment.

I'm on hols so I can do this but I usually only work in the afternoon so this fits my day.


DM said...

I'm with you, PK. Absolute silence - no TV, no radio, no talking - and my own little corner nook.

Nick Rolynd said...

My best writing time is at night, after every has gone to sleep, with the appropriate epic music for my scene. I'm a night writer in the truest sense. xD

Paul Tobin said...

I get my inspiration first thing in the day, it's the best time for me to write. I used to have music on but now I prefer silence.

DL Hammons said...

I also write early in the AM...which sometimes actually begins late at night. I need coffee...continually, my writing cap, and instrumental music playing in the background. Writing nirvana! :)

And thank you for the blogfest shoutout!! It's gonna be an awesome day!

fOIS In The City said...

Hey PK ... you know that cliche ... one man's ceiling is another man's floor? We could fit into that (hee hee) like a hand in a glove :) Sorry, I couldn't resist.

I do the opposite. My email and checking out posts are first thing. Until around the middle of the day ... maybe as late as three ... I do errnds, phone calls and swim.

Around four or five in the afternoon, I make sure I have something quick to eat and then I go at it. I go until as late at one in the morning. Then I watch an hour or two of my DVR or I might check into emails or do a blog post.

I am a night owl to be sure and when I had the responsibilities of your world (kids, house and two jobs) it was read while the kids were sleeping and do journals or writing for my main job late at night.

When I am into the heat of a new draft all bets are off and I go at it day and night until I am finished ... ending as late as three am with a last read of the day's work. Crazy I know, but then my kids are grown, I am retired, I write full time and I have been very patient for this time of my life to finally come :)

About the blog fests, I must confess that I mostly do not participate. I did a Holiday Hop one last week and maybe one of yours a few months ago. I think they are fun and I often click around on all of the ones you and your followers do ... but I don't always participate. Why? Can't say for sure.

What I can say for sure is that I love the passion your followers have towards the craft. I discover YA, fantasy, sci-fi and a host of genres that expand my world ... so I love reading them :)

M.J. Fifield said...

I seem to be my most productive in the middle of the night when every other living creature in my house is asleep. I can just close my office door and do what I need to do.

Jay Noel said...

I'm most productive at night, when the kiddos are asleep and all is quiet. But honestly, I try to write whenever I can, and if that means in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, I have to take the opportunities as they come.

I'll often have instrumental music playing in the background.

The Blogger Formerly Known As said...

For me it’s mid evening till very late at night, which sadly isn’t always practical. But I’m constantly making notes through out the day.

Fiona Claire said...

Thank you, PK, for this post. It's so nice to know there are others who write late at night. It feels more 'sacred' at that time for me - more like channelling!

LTM said...

oh, yeah. I need silence. And preferably no one in the house b/c invariably somebody's going to need something if they're home... The only problem is I"m usually working when everyone's gone, so flexibility as you said is key.

sigh. A room of one's own. :D

Catherine Stine said...

Yeah, I need silence too. And a comfortable chair. And hot tea. Maybe a stick of gum. I tend to post photos and pictures around my writing place, which inspire me. Oh, and I have to have good lighting. I write best between 2 and 8 pm.

alexia said...

Yep, I need silence or classical, too. But if I'm really into a scene, I can write even if it's noisy. And really, any time of day is good. If I have all day, I usually split it into three sessions.

L.G.Smith said...

Must have silence to write. And I tend to write best in the afternoon and evening.

New follower!

Margo Kelly said...

Optimum writing conditions for me = no interruptions!!!

And, hey, you may get a laugh out of the pictures I posted today on my blog of my current revision extreme! :)

Thanks for the links today as well.

Stacy Henrie said...

I write best in the afternoon when the house is quiet and my daughter is napping and there's relative silence and me at the downstairs desk.

Anonymous said...

I usually write late at night or early in the morning. I prefer my desktop, but if I don't want distractions I use my laptop minus the internet. I need a comfy chair. I once had a hard chair and it wasn't inviting at all.

Leslie Rose said...

My dream scenario is to sleep in after staying up late to finish reading a page turner, get the days "have to's" done and be at the keyboard by noon. Music is a must along with Diet Dr. Pepper or White Chocolate Mint coffee.

William Kendall said...

For me, I need to have music playing to get me into the writing zone.