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?

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Inny. In the house, in bed, lying down, laptop on stomach, sound of a waterfall in the background.

I am so friggin' lazy...
Take out the waterfall and replace it with an MP3 player, and this is my environment as well.

You have a waterfall in your bedroom? Doesn't it make you have to get up and pee, like, twenty times a night?
Big leather chair & ottoman, laptop, no disruptions, perfect. I'm too lazy to go out and besides, there's not going to be a chair in a restaurant to match the comfort of what I have at home.

Although I have to say, the waterfall idea would drive me batty. Music, yes, but the never ending sound of water running would make me want to get up and jiggle a handle somewhere. ;)
I'm a definite outy. If I'm home, I'll check email, surf the web, wash the dishes, wind the cat, chase the dog, or stare out the window at the birds. So I go to a coffee shop where the wireless access costs extra so I'm not tempted.

Now, does that make me an exhibitionist? Prolly. Or maybe not. I dunno, really. It seems that so many people are doing stuff in coffee shops with laptops anymore that no one stands out. In the last year in the coffee shop, exactly one person has asked me what I was doing. When I said I was writing a novel, they had the appropriate response: polite indifference.

The folks who work at the coffee shop know what I'm doing, and we chat it about it from time to time, but mostly it's just the place where I can get some work done without getting pulled away by some distraction.
Inny by necessity. I wish I could go out more often and write. The best place was on the coast, sitting at a picnic table with a notebook and pen. Now that I have kids, I have to be around the house.
Both. I can go out to a coffeeshop, or stay upstairs in our makeshift "study" or even in bed while my kids sleep. But to "create" it definitely has to be away from my workspace. Even if the husband takes the kids out of the house, I can't work at my computer unless I'm editing or something. I guess it's been spoiled by too much paying work.

I can filter out most voices, but sometimes there is an especially penetrating one that I have to stop and listen. Sometimes I get a good story or character idea out of it. I don't keep the TV on for company; I listen to music instead. Unless the kids are with me! They have definitely made me more flexible - I have had to re-learn how to write when/wherever because otherwise I would never write.

However, I'm much more responsive to visual than auditory stimuli (for lack of a better word). That might make a huge difference.
I'm easy--I'll do it anywhere. Lately I've been keeping to the house, but that's only because I'm lazy and like staying in my pajamas.

I like background noise, so Starbucks works well for me--wrote my entire second book there (due largely to the fact that I was living in a hell hole while waiting for my house to be built; I was all but homeless). When you go out, there are no dishes to wash, no laundry to do. The fewer distractions at hand the better I do.

Which is why I should really be somewhere NOW that I don't have internet access.....
I'm easy--I'll do it anywhere.

Dirty minds think alike.
"I'm easy--I'll do it anywhere."

Not to take this conversation into the gutter, but you REALLY have to be careful what you say... :)
Oh dear.

I'll go slink under my rock in crimson embarrassment while you guys try to pull yourselves out of the gutter.

; )

And for the record, I'm not easy. Won't comment on the rest.
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