Request - Creating the Environment to Write... Part 3

If you've been following this, we're on Part 3 of questions I was asked about my writing environment.  

(Buddy Holly, my fall writing partner)

Where do you write --

Away from clutter? Lose yourself in a coffee house?  You get the picture.

****I write in two places-- my writing shed (aka Poetry Barn - (still in need of a new formal name as it is my true writing studio))  and inside in our home-office, which also is part art room.

I prefer my writing shed because it is 

1) less noisy
2) has less disruptions
3) is more tidy
4) was built for the purpose of being my writing studio.

Though sometimes I start writing downstairs in my home-office and do not leave even while being distracted by cats and interrupted again (all with loving kindness) by my husband who is also like a cat in that same way he'll just come in when I'm working, sit down and start meowing...I mean, talking.

When I write inside I keep a note on my bulletin board (inspired by Tatyana Mishel who gave it to me) that reads: 
Time is on my side- Interruptions included.

I needed to put this up because I was getting a knot in my stomach every time someone interrupted me.  

What I now realize is that unless I tell my family that I am writing and not to disturb me for a bit, I will be disturbed.

Or I need to write in my shed.  It's one of the other.

If you have a family, you have interruptions and distractions.
If you have cats, you also have interruptions and distractions.

For me, it's best to write without any distractions.  I've always been easily distracted (you should hear me tell a story as it usually begins, "Oh, I've meaning to tell about this book I've been reading that deals with--EAGLE!  Look up, there's an eagle!... [quiet]--what was I talking about?")

I also love being away from clutter, but I also know if there's a lot of clutter, I'm usually lost in my work.  I clean up my desk about once every two weeks just to keep things organized.

For a while I wrote in coffeeshops and loved that.  There was one that had this delicious chai tea and terrible metal chairs.  I would write more from 9:30 am-noon than I did at home because there was nothing else to do there. And the chairs were so uncomfy.

I recommend coffeeshops and know that January O'Neill is a big fan of "Starbucking."  

But now, most of my writing happens in my shed either late at night or when my daughter is at school.  I can disappear there.  No one finds me. There is no phone.  People knock on my front door and because I'm hidden away, I do not have to answer it.  My golden retriever can write with me there as well.

It's absolutely perfect and I'm getting excited for fall because that is really when my writing life begins again.

Part 4 of Creating the Environment to Write coming soon!



  1. I have discovered that I can practically write anywhere as long as I have access to music. I literally have about 12 play lists on my ipod, all categorized based on mood. The majority is ambient because I feel ambient tunes are most conducive to creating an audio environment.

  2. Barry - the categorized by mood is a smart move! That is really the key. If I wanted to write a love poem, I would not listen to the Fray as someone would die in the poem or the couple would break up.

    Here's a question for you-- Are you an auditory learner? (Or do you learn by seeing, doing, reading, etc?)

    I ask because I'm an auditory learner, I learn best by listening, so sound can sometimes carry more power for me.

    Anyway, if you have a chance, I'd be curious.


    hi kelli--Love this post as it is a topic near and dear to my fact,
    I wrote about this not too long ago for Ploughshares! xo--Aimee

  4. Aimee-- Oh yes! I loved your post! I'm going to include a link-- the photos are lovely and you have an incredible writing space. The desk with the typewriter just makes me happy. And how wonderful it was grandfather's!

  5. I'm loving these posts :) I'll have to make a post on my habits too !

  6. Oh yes, definitely an auditory learner.

  7. sofia-- I'm now subscribed to your blog. I'd love to hear your habits.

    Barry- thanks! I wondered. I think a lot of poets are. (She says without any particular proof except you and I...) ;-)


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