Thursday, July 14, 2011

Writing Environment

Some people believe that if you're a good writer, you'll be able to write anywhere. Someone gives you an idea and you can write beautiful prose in mere minutes. While this is true for some people, for a lot of people, if given an idea and expected to write something in short time frame, they will end up with something half-hearted, below standards and very likely in need of revision, but writing is just as much about dealing with those below standard writings you have as much as it is about producing something excellent.

So don't get discouraged when something isn't up to your standards. It happens, and sometimes it's as much up to your mood as it is about the environment you're trying to write in. There are a lot of articles out on the Internet about keeping a 'writing space' that is separate from everything else and is 'sacred', I'm a bit wary of this idea. I've never had a space dedicated to writing. I don't lock myself into my room and refuse to speak with anybody. I've read these articles, I've tried it. I have a nice, creatively decorated yet simple desk that's secluded in my room with a comfortable chair and good feng shui. And covered with 'stuff' unrelated to writing.

I usually curl up on my couch, or snag some time at a coffeehouse, and sit myself down wherever I feel comfortable. That, I suppose, is part of the idea of the 'writing space' that is often overlooked in favor of lack of distraction. My belief is that a good place to write would be similar to a good place to meditate. Where the distractions might pass you by, you may glance at them, perhaps even stare for a moment, but then you shrug and turn yourself back to writing. Maybe this belief and my lack of a writing space comes from my history with meditation. Sitting stiffly in a chair, in a set location with no distractions seems too confined for me. Too forced. I'm not the kind of person who can sit still for very long. I never have been, so why would I want to try and force myself simply so I can do what started as a distraction during class?

So it's environment that is more important to me (and I suspect many other writers) than getting away from distraction, and environment is something you can control. Whatever your necessary environment needs to be is something almost personal. If you've ever seen NCIS, Special Agent Timothy McGee (also known as author Thom E. Gemcity), you'll see an example of a writing environment rather than a writing space. He prefers to use an old fashioned type writer and listen to jazz. He sets an environment for himself, and it just happens to tend to be in the same place (a typewriter is a bit heavy and bulky to carry around, after all).

A lot of people prefer coffeehouses because they are often have a good environment for writing. I discussed this in my other post called Why Writing and Coffee Go Together and it holds true for any space. If you can find a comfortable, creatively nurturing environment, you can write. Whether it's inside your house, outside your house, or anywhere you happen to find inspiration, figuring out the best environment for your writing is helpful, and sometimes it's different depending on what you're writing. Sometimes you have to be listening to classical music, sometimes you might need some heavy metal music to get your fingers flying across the keyboard.

So take a closer look at your sacred writing space if you don't think it's working for you and ask yourself: Is it comfortable, or stiff? Does it nurture your creative spirit, or merely covered with other's creativity? Is it a good writing environment for you?

No comments:

Post a Comment