I have been writing stories or essays as long as I can remember. From writing novels on my laptop to analog journaling, I think I have perfected the environment in which one can receive the best possible results from their writing. I have narrowed down the most important aspects of this environment to simply three subjects: background sound, snack, and setting. So let’s dive in!
After being distracted by the sounds of someone banging pots in the kitchen or bare silence, I finally discovered that I write my best content when I have music to pair with the mood. If I am writing my novel, I will listen to Chilled Cow’s “lofi hip hop radio – beats to relax/study to”. This station is slightly upbeat compared to other lofi radios so it keeps me engaged with my novel, even if it a dramatic scene or a casual scene. This channel will also sometimes host a song that inserts quotes from pop culture which reminds me how important quotes are to one’s work. With that in mind, I notice that I focus on writing powerful lines that will be noticed by my audience.
If I am writing poetry, I will listen to Chilled Cow’s “lofi hip hop radio – beats to sleep/chill to”. This station is noticeably slower than the others and allows me to focus on my work on a deeper level. Without any extra instrumentals, I am able to concentrate on the message I am trying to relay while also still occupying a distinct mindset.
As for school essays, I think my best choice is College Music’s “24/7 lofi hip hop radio – beats to study/chill/relax”. This channel is almost interchangeable with the College Music station I mentioned but it seems to strike me as more inspirational for educated writing. I would say switch between these two or others like it to find the one that works for you.
These are my main crutches for background sound for writing so explore your own. I know of authors or students who find it best to have Zen music or simple nature sounds, such as a running stream. I, however, find it beneficial to have a 24/7 music station running so I have a variety of lofi music to constantly challenge my mindset.
Snacks or Beverage
Getting up to find something from the pantry is a given. Even if you plan on writing for only 30 minutes or several hours, you won’t be able to avoid the temptation of putting some calories into your system. I am convinced that this craving is simply to occupy your body when you have been only moving your fingers for a certain amount of time.
Tea is always my go to for this situation. As a drinker of purely herbal teas, I find it best to switch between my two favorites, Peppermint and Lemon Zinger. I usually find it best to have Peppermint when I am writing poetry or educational work. This way, the calming flavor settles my mind and allows me to focus on the deeper meaning to my work. Lemon Zinger is for fictional writing because it awakens the mind and allows it to flow. This open mindedness leads to a broader range of fictional possibilities.
Although tea is my go-to, I am sure that coffee or brain foods, such as almonds, are an excellent choice. Once again, it is all about finding that one thing that allows you to feel calm and able to enter the world of literature.
Setting is a bigger category because of how important it is. In setting, I include everything from lighting to where you sit to decorations surrounding you. I have crafted my bedroom to be my ideal writing environment and here is what I focused on to do so.
My first subject was lighting. I thought it was too intense on the eyes to have both light emitting from my television, laptop, desk lamp, and ceiling light so I cut back on most of them. Now I only have light emitting from my television and laptop. My having my laptop practically be the brightest object in my room, I am able to focus solely on it without distractions. Also, by having my television playing my YouTube music channels, it emits a light tone across my room which helps me navigate when I need to reach my tea.
As for where I sit, I recline on my bed. I have been told that you shouldn’t work on your bed since it has the potential to confuse your mind between work and sleep but I think I have been able to create a barrier between these two activities. A desk, recliner, or couch also might be a good choice when choosing a place to sit. Just remember to have plenty of padding since sitting in the same spot for an extended amount of time can have consequences.
As for decoration, that is completely different from writer to writer. I have found that I draw motivation from objects that are associated with positives in my life. I have a deep connection with the spirituality that is associated with mandalas so I decided to decorate one wall with a large print. Also, the opposing wall hosts a wall-encompassing bookshelf that I reference to for constant reference motivation. By noting all the amazing novels I have read throughout my life, I find it easier to work on a novel of my own. Finally, I have an adapted version of Rosie the Riveter to connect me back to my roots.
Overall, I think the choice of one’s background sound, snacks, and setting for a perfect writing environment varies from writer to writer. However, once you are able to find your perfect combination to these categories, your writing is guaranteed to vastly improve. Just remember to focus on your background sound, snack/beverage, and your setting. Please comment with your chosen combinations to provide options for other users and hopefully you can find inspiration from this post.