A reply on one of my blog posts got me wondering, so I'm taking an informal poll. Do you go out of the house to write or lock yourself in your office?
I'm a hardcore inny. The very idea of writing in public is deeply disturbing to me. I want my desk, my things, my own little world where everything is the way I like it. When I was younger I was more flexible and would write whenever I had a spare moment, wherever I happened to be. Now I guess I'm more of a stick in the mud. I have my routine and it does not involve any other humans, either directly or peripherally.
Part of that has to do with my inability to block out noise. I don’t have TV and don’t understand people who run that evil thing 24/7 “for background noise” or “company.” As a result, I never built up that immunity to chatter than most modern people seem to have. I particularly can’t stand the sound of any human voices while I write, either real or recorded. I think it’s my obsession with words. I can’t help but hear them. If I see words, I have to read them and if I hear voices, I have to listen. I can’t block them out. When I hear music, I hear every word of the lyrics. Words just have this intense effect on me and if I’m making them up, I need to do it in a word-free vacuum.
That’s my excuse, anyway.
Of course, I also live in Los Angeles, land of pretentious hipsters who want to make sure everyone at the Starbucks can see that they’re working on a screenplay. I always suspected anyone who takes their laptop to a coffee shop of harboring exhibitionist tendencies. In fact, I used to think that was the mark of a wannabe. That those of us who actually do this for a living don’t need an audience.
But I’ve heard different from several other pro writers who don’t suck and don’t have a pretentious bone in their bodies. They tell me they really do need to get out of the house in order to write. They need to go somewhere outside their own mundane world or they need to get away from spouses and offspring. (I live alone so that’s not an issue for me.) I’ve even heard the more practical claim that a struggling writer too broke to afford air conditioning likes to go out and soak up the free cool during the summer.
So, how about you? Inny or outy?