Writing Environment

I find myself wondering lately what conditions most people write in. I’m sure they vary greatly. I, myself, need to leave the house altogether in order to get in a decent bout of writing done. It’s actually more than that. Let me explain.

I write to my moods. It’s really as simple as that. When I’m working on a short story, all it usually takes is one day to work out the gist of the story. Therefore, whatever mood I’m in pretty much dictates what style of story I create. Don’t get me wrong, the story is nowhere near being finished at that point. Only the original concept. Then comes the issue of recreating that mood when it’s time to revisit that story, or at least as close as I want to come to it. The last stage of revisions I’m usually detached enough from the mood it isn’t necessary to be anything other than in edit mode.

Now that I’m working on this novel, the rules are still somewhat the same. It helps me a great deal to get the feel of my main character when I’m in the right mind set. How do I do that, you ask? Simple.


I create a playlist of songs that I feel best describes the attitude of my main character. It also needs to have a similar feel to the overall story. Raven’s Mark is a fast paced ride with an anti-hero as the protagonist. Therefore, the playlist I’ve been listening to consists of hard rock, heavy metal, a dash of “Cookie Monster” rock, and always with a good-size helping of Blue Man Group. In a few scenes the mood is slightly altered so I threw in some instrumentals to help even out those times.

If I ever put on the tunes, and I just can’t listen to it, I have to do something else.  Maybe work on another story, write a blog post, or read other blogs or stories.  I find when I force myself to write when I’m not in the proper mind set, the writing suffers.

So how do you do it?  Do you set up a sound barrier from the rest of the world, or am I completely alone in the way I go about it?  Even if I am, I don’t think I’ll change any time soon.


2 thoughts on “Writing Environment

  1. I’ve been reading some of your posts randomly. It’s interesting that you and I are finishing up a novel at the same time and approximately the same pace. The book I’m working on now “Unexpected Company” is completely written and is now in the revision stages.
    I don’t go out of the house to write like you do since I have a room of my own, or the couch and the laptop works fine. I also do revisions to hardcopy on my breaks at work.

    Your input on music made me think about what playlist I’d make for my novel. I think I’ll gather a few songs after I make my list and put only those ones into my ipod. Then listen to my ipod as I write which blocks out all else. Music helped me write my other novel, Daniel’s Song, which is seeking a publisher now but I didn’t consider using music to help me write this book. Thanks for the reminder and good luck with your book.

  2. Thank you Terrill. I’m finding it a bit awkward now that I’m done with the first draft. I feel like I’m forgetting to do something. I fear if I start revisions right this minute, I won’t have a “fresh” enough eye to see what needs to be changed. I might be able to hold out for one more week. Then it’s time to bust out the red pen and mark it up. I, too, prefer to edit a hard copy. It seems to make it much easier.

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