Create the Perfect Writing Atmosphere

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November is NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. We already talked about what NaNoWriMo is and introduced some inspiring and motivating background music for NaNoWriMo in the past as well as for Camp NaNoWriMo, which takes place in April and July.

Yet, background music and inspiration is not all! In order to write properly, you need an atmosphere that allows you to unfold your imagination. Thus, we dedicated this article to help you create the perfect atmosphere not only for NaNoWriMo, but for any writing session!

Visit the official NaNoWriMo homepage and sign up.


Create The Perfect Atmosphere for Writing

Some people are very lucky. They can concentrate and thus write and be creative almost everywhere, no matter the surroundings or noise and commotion around them. But those are some lucky few. Most people (me included) need peace and quiet to be able to concentrate and let the creative juices flow. Everyone is different, but with the following tips and guidelines, you shall be able to create an atmosphere that is perfect for your writing needs!


Choose Your Tools

The first thing you have to figure out is how you want to write.

The computer is, nowadays, the number one tool for writers. Documents can be easily changed ans restructured without having to copy pages and paragraphs by hand or adding notes in between the lines. Everything looks clean and you can save different versions of a sentence, paragraph, chapter to see what works best for the end result. Furthermore, the internet is just a click away. Research, looking up inspirational pictures, a dictionary, a thesaurus – everything can be easily accessed while you are writing and thus exactly when you need it.

Or do you feel more like handwriting? Using pen and paper has some striking advantages over typing on a computer when it comes to flexibility and quickly scribbling down ideas while on the bus, train or on the go. Pen and paper can be taken everywhere and taken out in almost any situation. Place them on your night stand for nightly inspiration and ideas or take notes in everyday situations you want to use in your book.

A little less flexible but still allowing you to stay mobile is a laptop. It comes with all advantages of a desktop computer when it comes to saving, making changes and structuring your document and thus your story. Yet, you are not glued to a desk. Instead, you can take he laptop to your couch, the library or work on the train.

Of course you could also try to work from your tablet or smartphone. Thanks to services like Google Docs, you can easily type up notes or even whole texts and edit them later. Most people carry their smartphone everywhere which makes it flexible and quickly accessible. Yet waking up in the middle of the night with an idea in mind and then having a bright screen light glaring at you can be a tad annoying.

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You like it extra fancy? Try using a typewriter. It may come across very pretentious and old fashioned, but especially when you are writing a story that plays in a time where typewriters were a thing, the process of writing alone can fuel your imagination.

Of course you can combine all (or most) of these techniques. Use pen and paper for quick notes, your smartphone for dictating formulations or ideas to write them down later. Everything can then be combined in a document on your computer at your desk at home where you created your perfect writing atmosphere. And if you have to go out? Take your writing with you on a laptop. Just make sure that you are always working on the latest version of your novel. Backup your document and save it on a USB drive or on a cloud service (e.g. Google Drive) to carry it with you and access it from anywhere.


Keep Your Work-Space Clean

Sure, we know, “everybody can handle order, but only a genius can master chaos”. Yet, a clean and de-cluttered environment is far less distracting and thus helps you to focus on the task at hand; in this case, your novel. Thus, if you set up your writing space, make sure to get rid of all clutter and trash you do not need in your view and scope. Dirty dishes, candy wrappers, loose papers, that stack of letters you wanted to sort – put it all away.

When moving from your desk to the couch, your reading nook or to a public place, this accounts as well. If it is possible, get rid of trash lying around. Close your messy bag and get rid of the magazines scattered over your couch. Wipe the desk at the library or on the train with a tissue, and so on.

Check out environments that help you concentrate.


Reduce Background Noise

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As stated earlier, some people can concentrate everywhere. Who isn’t as lucky has to make sure that their environment does not hold distractions. One we can not just easily blend out by covering them or not turning our head is sound. Or rather: noise. While we can shut our eyes, we can not shut our ears. People chattering, sirens, cars passing by, or even tweeting birds can become so annoying that it’s simply impossible to focus on your writing.

This is, however,’s specialty. Find the one atmosphere that helps you to drown out annoying background noise AND boosts your concentration and even imagination! White noise is great for drowning out any other ambient noise and sounds of nature can put a restless mind at ease. Of course you have the possibility to create a mix that perfectly matches the story you are writing. That way, you stay motivated and can feel yourself into the setting. Like…

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