I can write in complete silence. That’s my favourite writing environment. Birdsong and the wind in the trees are acceptable background sounds.
I can write in a busy, noisy place too – as long as I can’t hear the specifics of the noise. (So a huge hum of conversation is fine, but if I can hear every word my neighbour is saying to his companion, it drives me nuts. I have been known to move tables in cafes and trains.)
I can write while someone is watching television in the same room – but it takes ten times as long (for once I’m not exaggerating) and is an almost unpleasant experience. Having someone else’s words collide with my own makes me almost seasick. I think that’s why I can’t even write to music; the words in my head crash into the words of the song or notes of the music and create what It feels like a physical disturbance.
Sometimes, though, if writing is to happen, it has to happen in less than ideal circumstances. Such as writing slowly and haltingly in the room where a kids’ film is playing – so I don’t have to choose between being Mummy on Duty for a poorly boy and being Writer on Duty so I can continue to be true to myself.
What stops or slows your writing? And do you write anyway?