Thursday, January 7, 2010


HOW DO YOU WRITE? Not what do you write? Not where do you write? How do you write? I knew I needed to be alone to write. I knew I needed quiet, but today I learned I need absolute silence…

It was a snow day. My daughter cooperated. She worked quietly on her computer. She did the dishes in silence. She even took down the “candy” Christmas tree without making a peep.

But then the husband came home early, due to blizzard like conditions…Being the great employee that he is, he continued to work. Being the great husband he is, he let me keep writing in the office and he worked in the kitchen. I had no idea his job required so much phone time. I think he was on the phone for an hour and half, non-stop. When he got off the phone I said…

But by then I had completely lost my focus. I organized some notes for my MG: A TEMPORARY FAMILY and that was it for me…



  1. I grew up doing my homework while watching TV. I always made good grades so the distractions didn't seem to bother that much. Some noise is okay when I write, and I love to have classical music playing in the background. Being alone to write is certainly less distracting so I do prefer to write in my home office. I really would rather do my writing in the morning, but I find that I'm most productive writing at night--must be a habit left over from my college days.

  2. Lee--Hmmm...noise and night, you are my opposite. :)

  3. I can write through just about anything, as long as people leave me alone. I just can't be productive if people are always trying to get my attention (like 3 kids and a husband). I do my best work, though, when I'm alone and it's quiet. I also tend to be more productive at night.

  4. I'm like Shannon...I can write under most circumstances. However, I am the most productive when I'm alone, soft music playing in the background, and a cup of hot coffee within reach. The words almost spew out then.

    Of course...they're the same five words over and over. :)

  5. I prefer quiet. I'm not one of those people who can listen to an Ipod while I write. (My kids do this all the time!)However, being a journalist in a very busy newsroom (my desk is in the middle of the newsroom)there is noise all around me. Reporters are doing interviews. The police scanner is going crazy. The TV is on. I've learned to block the noise and focus. But when I write my fiction, I prefer quiet. It's doesn't mean it has to be, but it's what I prefer.

  6. I need it quiet and to be alone or nothing gets done at all. I have to be in the story totally!

  7. Hi Sharon,
    If I know where something is going (more often nonfiction than fiction), I can deal with some noise. But if I am rewriting . . . shh! My son gets it. My husband? Not so much.

  8. I need quiet too. Absolutely no music. A little nine-year-old chatter in the background is ok. (If they're too quiet, it makes me nervous!)

    And Mt. Dew is compulsory.

  9. i can write with noise. I often write while the tv is on next to me, or Brother is playing video games etc. That said, i get a lot more writing done (wc is higher per hour) when it's just me and music.

  10. I can write with noise--out in public, whatever--I just need to not be in charge of anything or anyone, if that makes any sense. When my kids are home, I'm just waiting for one of them to need something or to show me some artwork or to tell me they are hungry.

    That anticipation makes me crabby and therefore, uncreative.

  11. Shannon--Funnily, I can write at the airport, if I'm alone. I think it's because I'm not resposible for anyone, but me and I know when all the people sitting near me start to move, I better pay attention to what's going on.

    DL--You are so funny. I like a pot of decaf.

    Buffy--I think in the newsroom, it is the constant level of noise that makes it so you can block it out. I taught in an open space building for several years, and the other classrooms rarely bothered me. I got used to it.

    Terri--It definately helps me if I'm alone. :)

    Sue--What is it with husbands and noise?

    Amy--You surprised me. I figured you for a noisy work environment writer. :)

    Falen--Some music inspires me. Oddly enough, Flo Rida has inspired lots of notes for the YA I'm working on.

    Wendy--Yep, constant fear of interruptions can really mess with me too.

    Great comments everyone. Thanks for stopping by. :)

  12. I don't need complete quiet, I can write with background noise (like at the library or cafe). But 'house noise' can be distracting since the things going on are of my concern.

    At work (I'm a copywriter), I do sometimes need to go hide in a conference room to get writing done. There are so many interruptions with email, meetings and people asking questions that uninterrupted time is rare.

  13. I love writing at night when it's quiet, even if it's only in my own private journal. The only noise I'm okay with is my dog quietly snoozing in the background. I found your blog through the comment challenge, nice to "meet you" :)

  14. Kara--Thanks for stopping by! The more I think about it, the more I agree with you. House noise is worse than any other noise.

    Charlie--Thanks for dropping in. I blog at night, in front of the TV, but if I'm trying to write fiction or research I have to be in a zone...No repsonsiblities to interrupt my thought process.