There's a great story in today's New York Times about the the writer Roxana Robinson, and how she leaves her well-appointed office to sit in a sparse spare bedroom in order to really get writing done:

Yesterday at brunch, four of us — three writers and an artist — were talking about our various methods, tics and needs that must be accommodated in order to get our brains to cooperate and the words to come. Music, no music. The time of day. The type of room and its brightness and configuration... We sounded like insane people.

Personally, I like a small room, with my computer up close to the wall, essentially making me a horse with blinders — when I was writing my book, I pushed my desk into a small walk-in closet, which worked out perfectly. Sometimes music helps, but it must be in a language I don't understand, or else songs I know so well that I don't focus on the lyrics.

What's your trick or favorite spot? What do you do to make the words come?

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I write on a laptop, and have two spots I like depending on the time of day.

In the early mornings, before my husband is up and about, I’ll sit at the kitchen counter. If he’s awake, the TV tends to be going, so I’ll go to the guest room and sit in the huge, overstuffed leather chair with the laptop on a pillow on my lap.

Either way, I have to have little to no background noise, and a beverage. Also, if I’m writing anything other than a blog post, I have to leave the wireless router off, because it’s too much of a temptation.
I used to write only in the designated writing room I was able to give myself in several homes, but since having children not only do I not have a room of my own, I don't even have a desk that's truly my own in this small open-plan house--in fact, I barely have a moment of my own when I'm here. What's saved me is the Writer's WorkSpace my friend Amy Davis opened in Chicago. Writers pay a membership fee for 24-access to a thoughtfully designed space that includes several places to work as well as amenities like coffee, tea, and printer, fax, and wi-fi access. I can spread out and know I'll have total peace and quiet, and I can totally give myself over to writing. I've been so productive there. I don't know how I would have gotten my revision done without it.
I write wherever it's the warmest spot in the house. Since I live in San Francisco, that's a year-round hunt! When I'm warm and comfortable, my imagination is free to fly. Also, when I'm writing a book, I always find a special piece of instrumental music that captures the emotional feeling I want to express. I play it constantly while I'm writing--it unlocks my brain, like turning on a tap, and immediately starts the creative and emotional flow.
Oooh! I love this topic.

When I finally sat down to write my first novel, I was terribly nervous. I'd sit at home, anxious about following my dream, and then housework would call to me. Or the phone would ring. I got NOTHING done.

Then, my husband found The New York Society Library in a NYT article. And it was half a block away from my son's future preschool. I joined site unseen. Members are only allowed to use their computers on the 5th floor. And when I joined, they didn't even have wireless internet. So without an ethernet cable, I couldn't fritter away my time on the web. Finally I learned to be productive, because I was sitting in a veritable isolation chamber.

Now that I'm over the hump, I'm much better at writing just anywhere. But I still need quiet...

I write most effectively when I am in a place by myself with a nice instrumental song playing and at times sitting on the porch or even walking, I will get ideas and words will fill my mind and then I usually get out my notebook and begin to write. I have to keep my notebook with me because when the inspiration comes I like to write it down.
I have had some specific "writing spots" that facilitate being able to immediately get into writing and stay in the flow the whole time I'm writing. Before my friends moved into a house, I would sit on the toilet lid or the edge of the bathtub in their master bathroom, I could have NOTHING on my mind, go sit down, and begin writing. At another friend's place the kitchen table was the winning spot. Otherwise I have to really *work* for that writing to come out and not suck. In my own home, I have no such writing spot, so I toil when I'm here. I'm not sure if it's feng shui, a mental trick, or just that certain places contain the ingredients for instant writing, but the next place I move to has to have a spot where I can sit down and just write.
I write from a laptop as well. I love the day hours when my husband is off working and my teenager is at school. I write in silence sometimes on the couch, sometimes sitting on my bed. I am purchasing a desk next week which will be in the living room. I like small, cozy creative spaces with familiar items around me, soft lighting and headphones! If I do listen to music it is instrumental so that I don't end up sitting there singing songs with my eyes closed and my pen as a microphone. I tend to get distracted easily.

What do I do to make the words come? That in itself is a continuous work in progress. My inspirations and muses change from day to day. I'm working on a novel so that is all very fact based for me with note cards, timelines, character descriptions and the such. If I had my ideal - well, that's a whole other paragraph.
I lie in bd with the TV onand just type my heart out on my laptop. At times when I am driving an idea will come to me and at that time I find myself searching my car for something to write with and also something to write on.
This is so fun to read your responses. Like Heidi I write on a laptop in the kitchen or media room. I try to just write when our girls are at school. When I am holiday I write in a notebook at the beach and transfer data later. It is neat to read the ideas over the years, cause the notebook is about five years old now. Thanks for the ideas, really enjoyed them.
Now that my children are grown, two out of the house, I am fortunate to have a home office. I call it My sacred space. A room filled with writing materials, art supplies, sewing supplies (I like to design purses), photography equipment and my work supplies. I also do publicity work for our conference and author friends. I rarely have music on, it disrupts my creative flow. Peace and quiet, for me and my characters. The only ritual, I light a candle.

I take my 30 second commute and arrive in my office around 6:30am. First on my daily to do list is writing for 3 hours. No email or internet logging on allowed. In general I work 6 days a week.
My afternoons are filled with personal chores, meetings, get together with writer friends or research - I network a lot! My evenings on average 3 days a week are filled with writing group meetings, poetry group, and once a month a evening of network and socializing with writing community.

I have a friend who 'reprimands me' for taking on too much. I love what I do, I can't help it. The 3 hour block for writing is my priority and as long as that is done, all works out.
Check out this fascinating article about the writing process in today's Wall Street Journal:
That was fantastic, Susan! Thanks so much for pointing it out! It makes me think we're all a little nuts — until I remember the Elizabeth Gilbert TED talk that She Writer Sandy Ackers recently pointed out on her blog: Gilbert says that historically, people believed muses, or "geniuses," came to them with ideas. Junot Diaz isn't nuts -- it's his genius that makes him sit on the lip of the tub...

Susan Wels said:
Check out this fascinating article about the writing process in today's Wall Street Journal:



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