What stops or slows your writing?

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?