That depends on the writer. Some perfer the neat desk with only a laptop and a cup of coffee on it. Other opt for a rustic mountain cabins, a quiet hotel room, or a corner coffee shop. Any of these can work, or provide a complete distraction, or might be entirely out of our budget as struggling artists.
Most writers exist in one of two camps. Word (or Google Docs), or Scrivener. I use both because I hate picking sides. I write in Word because my critique partners review with track changes as does my editor. When a novel is complete and polished, I import it into Scrivener for quick easy formatting in PDF, .MOBI, and other versions. It saves me a great deal of time.
So if all we need is a computer or something similar, does the rest matter?
Yes. A place and its amenities can encourage, inspire, spark imagination. Or it can depress, distract, and stifle creativity. We need to set ourselves up for the best possible work environment to foster the best chance for a productive time.
Some prefer to focus on their writing time as their job. They treat it as a business so it deserves seriousness attention. At the desk in a comfortable office chair works best for these writers.
I have a friend who hates to sit at her desk to write. It reminds her too much of her day job and smothers her imagination. She wants a comfy place with her feet up. So do I.
I write in an extra-wide recliner looking out at the flowering trees and vines in my yard. In the summer, I write on a chaise lounge in my backyard. As long as my feet are up, I can work for hours. I purchased an adjustable computer stand that works great in any setting.
Other writers I know enjoy sitting in the local copy shop to work. The hustle and bustle of the place energizes them. It would completely distract me.
When deadlines are coming near, some authors go away to hotels or cabins. It hopefully eliminates distractions and they can complete their projects on time.
Coffee, tea, or other beverage are usually included in our supply list. But are there books you have within reach, or tabs you have open on your desk up for quick access? I have copies of The Emotion Thesaurus, The Negative Emotion Thesaurus, and Fight Write sitting beside me for easy access. I often have Dictionary.com open to check the age of words. The site has a place that will tell you the origin of a word with the date. Since many of my books have a medieval setting, knowing that the word towel has been around since 1250 comes in handy. When I’m starting a novel I may have FantasyNameGenerator.com open or any number of baby name sites in order to find the perfect name for my characters.
One author I know has her favorite candy beside her. When she reaches a set word count goal she reward herself with a treat.
I have recently discovered Spotify. I have a play list that includes sound tracks. I pick the instrumental ones and it plays in the background. For some writers, music helps set the mood that matches the scenes we’re writing. From action packed chases, to sorrowful losses, to playful banter, there is a song for that.
Indoors or out, alone in the mountains or in a busy coffee shop, a drink nearby, music or not, every writer has an environment and supplies that will help them be most productive.
What is yours? I would love to hear.