As creatures of habit, we all develop certain preferences of where we like to hang out, what kind of knick-knacks we want decorating our rooms, and what kind of music filters through our ears.
Which leads me to the conclusion that environment matters.
For example, I have certain locations designated as “writing spaces.” Whether it be a particular table at my local bookstore or my favorite chair at home. I have to position the objects on my desk just right. Coffee is a MUST. Music is key. Soundtracks, alternative rock, gothic rock–what I choose depends on my mood.
If I don’t have these things, it is more difficult to settle down and get to the task at hand.
So, what is it about keeping the environment to taste that’s so important?
Familiarity is comforting. Especially if there are “good feelings” associated. I write at a bookstore. Writing makes me happy. Therefore, going to the bookstore makes me excited to get writing. (Yup, I’m that simple.)
There’s also the idea of state-dependent learning. If I’m used to “bookstore” writing, I may just remember certain scenes I wrote there better than the ones I wrote at home (or elsewhere).
Plus, I know that “bookstore” writing is time dedicated solely to writing. I don’t have to worry about chores, laundry, studying, being distracted by TLC or Discovery, or kitty. (Sorry, Grace.)
So, friends, what “habits” have you developed surrounding your writing behaviors? Do they help? Do they hinder? What stimulus (seeing a notebook, smelling coffee, hearing a song) reminds you most of writing, or even a particular scene?
Let me just say there are two Alice in Chains songs that remind me so much of a scene in Picture of Fate, a previous WIP, that my heart aches. Just sayin’.