Does the environment affect your writing?

Do you think the environment around you play a critical role in your writing? It’s amazing that some people can really write in a noisy environment while some requires absolute quietness to do the same. For me, I cannot write in a very noisy cafe or a place with many people walking here and there or chit-chatting loudly but I don’t require very quiet place either. As I have mentioned earlier that I may have lack of focus, watching people walking around does me no good in concentration. Blame it on my nosy nature, I guess. Apparently, I’m curious with some people’s behavior and eventually I lose focus on my own task. That’s why I’m amazed with some people who can really concentrate on their own stuff without a care of the people around them. I guess this takes a lot of training. Does yoga help with training my concentration, I wonder?

Anyway, one thing that definitely works for me is music on the background. I found that I can write as long as I’m listening to my favorite music regardless of the place, be it at cafe, living room, bedroom or office desk. Of course, some writing can only be done on a proper desk, especially if I’m doing data analysis or coding that requires referring to multiple resources, best with at least two displays too. Otherwise, I can simply write on some notepad (I don’t know why I love to scribble on papers), or iPad (typing on it is not as easy but still a good solution) whenever I feel like it as long as I play my favorite playlist. My current favorite songs are Owl City’s Good Time, Maroon 5’s Payphone, and Gym Class Heroes’s The Fighter. Sometimes I simply love old songs such as The Verve’s Bitter Sweet Symphony, Ultra’s Say It Once, Craig David’s 7 Days, etc. I’m actually writing this post listening to these. Similarly, I also read with my favorite music. Don’t be surprised that I do the same while cooking too.

I’m glad to say that music simply makes me happy and at ease. My thoughts and ideas can actually flow better on the paper or screen as the music flows. Writing is not as hard if I enjoy the process especially if I can listen to my favorite songs repeatedly until my writing is done.

How about you? What kind of environment you need to write better?

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2 thoughts on “Does the environment affect your writing?

  1. Most definitely! Just this morning, I spent an hour or so sitting on a beautiful and very comfy ‘cocoon chair’. Even though I was in a hotel lobby, it felt very private and isolated, and I could concentrate very well on some reading and writing.

    If I am editing, tough, I like background noise – something uplifting is particularly, good. So, I may head to a cafe, or put some lively music on the background.

    Sometimes, it can work against me, though: for the life of me, I can not get any writing done in my ‘work’ office. Even if it is quite and nobody knocks on my door, I associate the place with conversations and interruptions and it is incredibly hard for me to concentrate. So, I try to use those days for ‘low mental effort’ activities like searching EBSCO, or format the paper, etc.

    • A ‘cocoon chair’? I wish to have one too. It’s really interesting to know how different environments affect different people in their daily lives. Thanks for sharing, Ana.

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