My Writing Environment

In alot of the groups I’m in on Facebook, people are always asking about writing processes. They ask things like “What is it?” “What do you need to be comfortable while writing?” “Do you begin with just the title?” “Do you have a plan?” “How do you plan?” These are all great questions and at one point in my life, I asked the same thing. So, I thought I’d share the wealth and tell you a little about my writing process. Today’s topic will be on my writing environment.

Let me begin by saying that every writer is different, therefore, every writing environment will be different. Some people may enjoy certain things that just don’t work for others and that’s totally okay. I’m not saying this is how everyone should do it, but if you are looking to find your stride, you can research other writer’s environments and see what does and does not work best for you.

My Writing Environment

A writing environment is important because it can help you get into the right headspace for whatever you’re writing. I find that I am drawn to spaces with lots of nature. I know writers who prefer to sit at a desk and write in the dark. Some writers prefer notebooks over laptops. Whatever your preference, you want to make sure your environment is going to give you uninterrupted time to get your thoughts onto the page.

The first thing that I do when I’m writing creatively is to find a space with lots of light and pretty scenery. I find that nature really inspires and motivates me. So, I grab my laptop, a bottle of water, a snack (most of the time it’s chocolate), and I head out to my back porch. I sit at a table in a comfy chair and stair off into the gorgeous tree line while I write. The only thing that could make this environment better for my creative juices is for a light rain to fall. There’s just something about the sound and smell of fresh rain that makes me want to write.

The second thing I do is look at what I’ll be writing that day. During my planning process (which I will discuss later), I create chapter folders for each chapter and include what events will take place in the notes section. Using Scrivener, this is super easy and it keeps me focused and organized. Depending on what kind of scene or chapter I’m writing, I’ll put on some instrumental  music. Now, it’s super important to me that it’s instrumental. Anything with words (coherent words, anyway), distracts me. I lose all focus and get caught up in the music. So, instrumental tracks work best. I use alot of Hans Zimmer for active battle scenes. I YouTube romantic piano music for mushy scenes. Pretty much, whatever type of music you need, you can find either on Pandora, ITunes, YouTube, etc. It’s out there. The music helps me get into the mindset and mood of whatever scene I’m creating, so I write with music on all the time (except for academic writing. I turn on The Office U.S. for that because it’s funny and it keeps me from stressing too hard over making sure everything is perfect).

The last thing I do to make sure my writing environment is conducive to productive writing habits is I try to make sure I won’t be interrupted. That’s the worst, right? When you are so motivated and you’re in the middle of this intense scene and then your husband bursts in saying, “Hey, have you seen my other flip-flop?” Ugh! It drives me crazy. So, for the sake of my writing and my sanity, I told my husband how important uninterrupted writing time is to me. He was very understanding and all I need to do is ask him not to bother me for a while. He’s so supportive and encouraging. Now, if you aren’t a stay-at-home-mom and you can devote all your time to writing, that’s awesome. You don’t have to worry about this. You may have other distractions, like YouTube, Netflix, or social media. I find that disconnecting from all of that, helps me connect with my imagination more. So, spending an hour or two a day away from all of that is the best thing I can do for my writing.

Well, there you have it. That’s all about my writing environment. What is your environment like? Do you need music to set the mood? Do you find it hard to stay focused? If so, what helps? Let me know in the comments.


Thanks for reading,

K.W. Riley

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