Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Do Not Disturb

“Privacy is not something that I'm merely entitled to, it's an absolute prerequisite.” - Marlon Brando

A few days ago, Judy blogged about her new "office". Yesterday, Charity mentioned the three rules for writing and added a comment about not being able to write when someone hovers behind you, watching each word appear on paper.

Yesterday, my DH was called in to work at 1 a.m. and I knew this would result in his early arrival home. Sure enough, he plodded through the door at about noon yesterday.

I write at two times: first thing in the morning and again after lunch while my daughter completes her seatwork from our schooling in the morning.

I can't work with music on -- I'll end up typing the words or losing track of my own story as I get involved with the story in the song. Music is very important to me, but I can't tune it out. It isn't background.

I can't work with someone else in the room, even if they're ten feet away. It makes me oddly nervous. So, with DH wandering around yesterday, I couldn't get stuff done. Additionally, he can't work without music, so if he's in his part of the office in the basement, it's on.

I know lots of people go to the mall or Starbuck's or wherever outside of their home to work. I don't think I could accomplish anything like that -- I'd spend too much time people watching or just generally being distracted.

I know that Tori writes in longhand during the commercials of shows she watches on TV. I would never be able to do that either! TV is oddly hypnotic, and I find myself unable to turn away, even during commercials.

So... I need quiet and privacy to write. Thank heavens I typically have both every day -- though it is one of the reasons I'm up before 5 a.m. every morning. That way, I'm pretty much assured of at least a little bit because no one else is crazy enough to get up this early, except the cat.

What do you need in your writing environment?


Judy said...

If I'm involved in a story already, I can normally write anytime. If I'm just getting started on one though or I'm having problems with it, then I need to be pretty much alone. I like music, but normally I have on instrumental so I don't get distracted. My "office" is in the other corner of our living room from where the desktop is. And, of course, I've not used it yet :-) Bob bought me a laptop but instead of hooking it up over there, I've been sitting in my recliner... lol. Lazy Judy.

anno said...

Silence... is bliss.

Gay said...

I cannot write with the television on... I have to move to a different room, which is why I'm now in the living room instead of on my favorite couch in the family room. (I'll hang with the rest of the family, when they are at their "quiet" time, but I leave the minute the "tube" goes on).

I have keen hearing, and I can still hear their shows a good deal of the time... so I'll put on music, but I play it very low, and don't pay any attention to the words. I love to listen to Sting while writing... his rhythms match mine. I used to find in the days when I was working that some music (a lot of rock) made me feel frenetic, wired, stressed... it was good for keeping me awake while driving, but I felt over-stimulated and couldn't think fast enough to keep up while I was trying to get work done. I always had the sense that I was stupid and slow, and that I would never get caught up if I had it playing in the background. I avoid certain types of it now for the same reason, unless I am active and not trying to use my "higher intellectual capabilities," LOL.

And, if there's a lot going on around me, I cannot work on the computer... I have to write longhand. So if I'm at an airport, at a bookstore, or whatever, I have to take good old pen and paper if I want to get anything done. Something about holding the pen in my hand and moving it on the page grounds me, and keeps my focus where it needs to be.

Tori Lennox said...

I'd go crazy without music or something to drown out all the little annoying sounds we have around here. :)

MaryF said...

If I only changes from one story to the next! Last weekend, when it was nice, I sat outside and wrote 17 pages longhand. I can usually write with the TV on, if I'm involved in the story. And I've started to write when the kids are writing.