Creating a good writing ambiance.

One of the more important things for me, when I’m writing, is to have a good ambiance to encourage my creative juices to keep flowing.  Although with poetry I have to write by hand (otherwise I can’t actually write poetry – nothing good comes out of it when I create on the computer), fiction comes to me naturally as I sit at the computer.  Usually when I am working on my WIP(s), it’s either before my husband is awake, or after he’s gone to classes – so I am alone in the small den where my desktop computer is located.  My desk is messy, which seems to be entropy at work… but that doesn’t normally bother me.  Other people may need a clean writing space, though… do whatever suits you best.

Always, though, I have to have music playing.  Usually it’s something quiet, like Enya or classical.  Sometimes, however, when I am writing more aggressively (or if I need something to help me pound out a word count, during NaNoWriMo especially), I will listen to groups such as Avenged Sevenfold or Blindside.  Sometimes I am more in the mood for softer/acoustic music, in which case I will listen to singers/groups like Sara Groves, Sixpence None the Richer, or Sufjan Stevens.  If you haven’t tried writing with music playing, I encourage it.  It may be a distraction to you if you are not used to it, but – and perhaps especially – if you are suffering from writer’s block, it may help you come up with words that you had previously been lacking.

Another part of creating a good ambiance for writing is being in comfortable clothing.  I can’t imagine sitting here, at my computer, trying to write anything, being dressed up.  I am very much a sweatpants and tshirt sort of girl.  Often you’ll find me writing in a pair of old fleece pajama pants and a tshirt, bare feet tucked under me as I sit cross-legged on my office chair.  Other days it’ll be a pair of my university sweats and a sweatshirt.  Wear whatever is comfortable for you to wear – whether it’s jeans or sweatpants or anything in between.

Another thing I have noticed that is important for me, perhaps because of medication side effects, is having a drink available at all times.  No, no, I’m not talking about alcohol, silly. *grin* Whether it’s hot tea, iced tea, coffee, sweetened buttermilk, hot chocolate, or – most commonly – water, I need to have something available for me to grab if I am thirsty.  It disrupts my concentration if I have to go get something something to drink in the middle of an exciting paragraph in my novel, or, if I am trying to hit a particular word count, it makes me lose impetus to reach that word count.  I don’t know if many other people are similar to this, but it can’t hurt to have a bottle of water next to your writing space, especially if you write for lengthy periods of time.  Staying hydrated is important, even as a writer. *wink*

Lastly, although it may not be an obvious part of creating a writing ambiance, is smells/scents.  Since we live in an apartment complex, often there are smells from other people’s apartments that drift into our apartment.  Stale cigarette smoke and cooking meat are the most common ones.  While the den is furthest away from being next to anyone else’s apartment, sometimes the smells do bother me.  Sometimes it is just a bad smell in general, like sewage or a dead critter somewhere in the walls.  I haven’t yet figured out how to counteract this, but I think that I would probably use an air freshener in here, since I like the scents of most air fresheners – or sprinkle some of my husband’s Axe spray around, since I adore that smell. *grin*  If smells bother you, then figure out what your favorite scents are and have them be available to you in case a bad odor hits you mid-sentence.

What are your favorite ways to create a writing ambiance?  I’m curious now!! 😀

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