Writers are often known for their eccentricities. Tics, personal habits and odd rituals of writers and artists have all come under the scrutiny of many a biographer. It seems, at times, the one thing writers might have in common is their idiosyncrasies.
An easy aspect many writers like to control is their work space. Writers’ particular needs in regard to their surroundings can often become the stuff of legend. A rumor once circulated that Ernest Hemingway required 20 perfectly sharpened pencils before beginning writing in the morning. However, when asked about this, he said he doubted he ever owned 20 pencils at one time. He did, however, always begin writing in the morning so he could warm up (both literally and metaphorically) as the sun rose.
For many people, writing spaces reflect a part of their personality. Some people need absolute order if they want to produce their best work. There won’t be a Bic pen out of place. For others, chaos helps get the creative juices flowing.
Many artists prefer their work space to be a sort of sacred ground–surrounding themselves with sentimental mementos, symbolic objects, and photos that invoke their muse.
In my life, my writing space has changed throughout the seasons and circumstances I find myself in. Once, my writing routine was to drink a large cup of Sumatra coffee, pace the living room while listening to music, and then sit at the dining room and write out all my ideas. Another time, I did almost all of my writing in my car in the 30 minutes before and after work.
What about you? What are your writing routines? Do you have a specific setting you require to write well?