August 31, 2014 at 11:12 am #28946
I’m talking about the little things here, like background noise, atmosphere etc. I like to burn incense in my office while I work, and I was thinking the other day that the only other time I’ve burned incense was when I was a teenager, smoking in my bedroom and trying to hide it from my parents!
Although I love music, and spend most of my time when I’m not working listening to it and going to gigs and festivals etc., I can’t listen to music while I’m working. I don’t watch TV so no chance of having that as a background!
I like to have my cat in my office when I work, but she used to scratch the side of my chair to buggery, until I bought her this hungry caterpillar to scratch instead! It sits to the side of my chair and she loves it 🙂
Edit: Aww man, I was trying to upload a picture of the cat and her hungry caterpillar, but it’s too big 🙁August 31, 2014 at 5:25 pm #28947
It varies for me depending on the project. In the wee hours of the morning I’m usually having breakfast and coffee while I get started on work. That’s when I go through email, schedule things to share on my social media accounts, check my blogs for new comments and spam, etc. With all that going on, I can work fine with silence, but I often put on a show (usually one of the late-night comedy shows or something) as background noise. That or I listen to NPR. I don’t watch much live TV, so it depends what’s on Hulu or something each day.
If I’m writing, I prefer silence these days, thought I used to like background noise. I’m more open to background noise with my own projects because that’s not straight writing. I’m usually doing that, admin work, and design work — or jumping around between all three. In that case I put on some kind of series that I can turn on once and leave on. Netflix is great for this, and my fallback series is Murder, She Wrote (I’ve seen all 12 seasons so many times that I don’t get distracted because I need to see what’s happening, and with that many episodes, you don’t have to mess around with settings very often).
Mostly it’s silence though. When I put on something for background noise it’s usually because the dog’s feeling easily distracted that day. She’s usually with me and there’s no door to lock her out. So sometimes I need to distract her from all the little noises outside so she doesn’t start barking. It’s easier to work with shows playing than it is with her barking.
As for the image, there’s a 200kb upload limit which is kind of huge for an image online. Normally I’d limit it to more like 50kb (and probably will have to as membership grows). Before trying to upload the image, it needs to be web-optimized, just like you would before putting images into your website’s design. If your photo editing software doesn’t have an easy option for you, you can use a site like this one. 🙂September 1, 2014 at 1:18 am #28948
Emily FParticipantSeptember 1, 2014 at 11:38 pm #28951September 2, 2014 at 8:24 am #28952
Great question! It’s hard for me to listen to most kinds of music while I’m writing. It messes with my internal rhythm or something, and I lose any train of thought… but I like background noise. I’ve found that listening to Baroque classical music works well for me because it’s not distracting at all, just sedate and peaceful. Lately I usually put on the Baroque station on Pandora while I’m working. I’m getting tired of their selection, though, so I’m thinking of trying out something else. It’s just really easy to use Pandora on my Roku.
Like you, Jenn, I sometimes put on TV shows for background noise when I’m doing administrative work, just nothing that involves writing.
My cats love to “help” me work by sitting in front of my monitor or on my keyboard until I chase them away 🙂September 2, 2014 at 2:57 pm #28953
Thankfully mine (mostly) stay off my desk. I love them, but I’m also allergic to them. And I moved my office into a room with no door, meaning I can’t keep them out. The pup does her part to help though. 😉October 7, 2014 at 5:28 pm #29191
I work well with distractions, mostly out of habit. For years, I’ve worked in the same computer room where my husband retires to play video games, so I’m accustomed to the intermittent sounds of cursing and barking out orders to teammates 😉 I’ve got a room in our new house that’s dog-eared for my office, but I haven’t moved into it yet….it seems so lonely in there!
One quirk: When I’m writing fiction, I absolutely must have music. A vital part of my outlining process is building a playlist or “soundtrack” for the story. Specific songs will relate to particular characters or scenes. I’ve found that it gets me in the right headspace to write a particular stretch of story; the music immediately puts me in the same mindset I was the last time I listened to it and forms a sort of bridge to the book. It’s funny because the music is all so, so much different depending on the project.
My first novel was a dark fantasy set in a faerie world, and the music is lots of classical stuff mingled with some spooky movie scores — Coraline, Rosemary’s Baby, Silent Hill.
My second novel is about rats living through a disaster of (for them) apocalyptic proportions. That soundtrack is an even mix of folk metal (Eluveite, Ensiferum, Elvenking) and seriously epic video game/film score (tracks from 300, Baldur’s Gate, Skyrim etc)
My current WIP is about zombies trying to live unnoticed in modern society (think a combo of District 9 meets Warm Bodies) and all of the music is alternative rock or industrial — things like Rise Against, Depeche Mode, Green Day, The Airborne Toxic Event etc.
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