Saturday, September 5, 2009

Your Writing Paradise

One of my brothers lives in Hawaii, and he sent me this picture. I don't know if you can see it, but there's a second rainbow off to the right a bit. (Is that what people call a "double rainbow"?) He and his kids saw this last week on the way to school. Isn't it beautiful?

The awesome part about having family in Hawaii is that when you visit your family, you're in an incredible spot. The downside: it's expensive to fly out, and driving isn't an option. Thus, you can't see each other as often as you'd like.

The last time we were in Hawaii, I wrote. Just for a couple hours here and there, but it was great. After my family and I goofed around on the beach and in the pool, they were more than happy to bail every now and then to explore on their own while I got in some writing time. I'll try not to whine about how I
had to listen to waves lapping on the sand while I typed. (Oh, yeah--that's sarcasm.)

In August,
Scott Perkins did a post asking people where they write. (By the way, if you haven't been to Scott's blog, I highly recommend it. He writes beautifully and posts often. Plus, he's a nice guy.) Last week, "Lazy Writer" Susan said in my comments section that music inspires her to write. I'll snake both their ideas and ask you to describe your perfect writing setup, your "writing paradise", in my comments section. If you choose to share, it doesn't have to be how you actually write each day, but what your ideal setup would be.


1. Alone, but not all day--just for a good chunk of hours. Interacting with people, especially my kids, not only makes me happy, but it gives me great ideas! While I love coffee shops, I'd rather not write in one; I worry I do weird faces when I write dialogue.

2. Quiet. While music definitely inspires me, I like to write in a quiet spot. My husband, on the other hand, likes to work with his music playing. This is why we have to divide the house when he works from home. ;) "I call the den!"

3. I prefer writing in the morning and afternoon.

Your turn. How about you?


Strange Fiction said...

Beautiful photo! We call them double rainbows. One of my brothers lives in New Zealand so I can relate to the semantics of that one.

I don't mind sitting at the computer to write, I do best when I'm alone, without any sound or interruption. Writing at a beach, a lake, or in a park works for me too—I guess anywhere as long as I’m alone and it’s quiet!

Cindy said...

We call them double rainbows, too, and have them all the time in Colorado.

Music REALLY inspires me. Sometimes I can listen to it as I write and sometimes I can't. But I love to have a beautiful day and a nice view--that would be idea. Perhaps out in the mountains--because nature is also very inspiring.

Dawn Maria said...

I get the most good work done while away on a residency, but at home, I prefer to leave the house. My husband has a home office and talks on the phone all day. So a trip to B&N or Starbucks will work just fine. I don't feel alone there, but more like in my own little world.

Dawn VanderMeer said...

D.L. and Cindy, thanks for the double rainbow clarification. I wonder what's at the end of a double rainbow... ;)

D.L., wow--New Zealand makes a flight to Hawaii seem kind of short. Yeah, alone and quiet--I'm right there with ya. Well, not literally. Then you wouldn't be alone anymore, and I'd probably start chatting or looking for cookies in your pantry!

Cindy, Colorado is beautiful! Music and nature are inspirational--I agree. Both can somehow get inside you and spark things. Of course, that's when I run indoors and close out the world. Maybe I have issues. ;) I hope you get lots of beautiful days and opportunities to spend time in the mountains writing this year!

Dawn--again, I must comment on your fabulous name. ;) I've never done the whole residency thing, but it sounds so cool! Yeah, my husband has to use the phone a lot when he works from home, too, so it's just one more reason to divide the house during work hours. We did that Friday and went out for lunch. Fun! I know writers--published and unpublished--who write in coffee shops. It's nice that you can tune it all out and get into the zone there.

Thanks for sharing, ladies. :)

Lazy Writer said...

Okay, let me try this again. I'm not sure if it took my last comment, so I'm leaving another one. I apologize if you get it twice. I need to clarify about my music comment. Yes, music is a huge inspiration to me. I can't tell you how many ideas have popped into my head or even entire scenes while I've been listening to music. But when I actually put the words on paper, I have to have quiet or the amount of typos is crazy! My ideal set up is two hour block of complete quiet throughout the day with lots of human interaction in between (and music of course).

Dawn VanderMeer said...

Hi, Susan! Your comment only came once. I've done that before, too, and it's like, What do I do now? :)

Regarding music, that's what I thought you meant, but I wasn't sure. It was just a nice little tidbit you added, and it was one of the things that inspired me for this post. We all have different styles, and I think it's interesting to hear what works for other writers.

Scott said...

Awesome! I love reading about how other writers feel about these things.

I like the cafe for writing. I work afternoons at the writing center, so my wife drops me off at the cafe I mentioned in the blog post so I can spend five hours pounding the keyboard before I have to head to work. It works out well for me because the cafe (and the coffee) gives me the energy I need.

Aside from the atmosphere of the cafe, this also gives me what I need in terms of structure. It's like heading off to the office each morning. It helps me get through my page count each morning so I can focus on other things (like blogging and the job I actually get paid for).

When I do write at home, or if I'm in a mindset where hustle and bustle would distract me, I tend to sit on my patio or in the library.

Michelle McLean said...

Ahhh, I lived in Hawaii for a year right after high school. I still get so homesick for it. It was, by far, my favorite place to have lived.

As for writing, I like alone, quiet (sometimes with music playing quietly but definitely with no other people around), and I seem to write best in the mornings and late nights.

However, being a mother whose husband is often out of town, I have learned to write with my kids jumping all over me. I just PREFER it nice and quiet all by my lonesome :D

Dawn VanderMeer said...

Scott, it sounds like you have a great system! I totally get the "at the office" mindset. That's definitely a part of why I go to our den and close the door. It means I'm officially at work (to me and the family).

Michelle, I LOVE Hawaii. *sigh* Good for you, being able to put in time even when your husband is traveling and you're taking care of the kids. That's way easier said than done, so pat yourself on the back. :)