Setting the Scene.

We all know how important it is to set the scene in your writing, but what about setting the scene for your writing? I woke up this morning feeling like I haven’t been doing nearly as much writing lately as I should be and, considering C.M. Hubbard posted about just the same thing today, I’m taking it as a sign that my current method of setting the scene for writing is not being conducive to my productivity. I have a lot of stuff I want to get done by the end of February, and there’s no way I’m going to reach it at this rate.

Not my cat. But this guy seems to have the focus thing down pretty well.

How do you set your scene for writing? What’s your ideal set-up to really get your work out? For me, it’s a bright, quiet morning, a little music coming from my Kindle, with a cup of fresh and overly sweet coffee on one side. The sun is coming through the kitchen window, onto the table where my laptop sits, at an angle where it isn’t shining directly into my eyes (which has been a problem lately). It’s Preferably before my roommate gets up; after she’s up and gone to work before me, my brain switches gears to other projects. This morning is…close to setting up this scene.

I’m very good for going about this scene for my blog post, but I’ve been complete rubbish of sticking around and doing some actual writing while I’m at it. Days like today, where I open at the shop and have to leave relatively early, it’s understandable that I don’t have the time to take to just sit and write. There are other things that unfortunately must be done as well. However, on other days, like the days when I close the shop, or come in later, or don’t have to come in at all, there is no excuse. You have a table, you have a chair, you have a five-cup coffee brewer. Sit your butt down and get to work!

So I’m going to start trying to do that. Every morning (well, almost), I take the time to write this blog, usually about half an hour. Some mornings (not a lot lately), I also have been taking some time to write 750 Words. And now, except on mornings when I work early, I will be setting a timer for at least fifteen minutes (hopefully thirty) and just writing. No other distractions. None of this, “Write a paragraph and go do something else” stuff that I usually do, either. I’m setting the scene for my writing and letting it take me to the place where my writing needs to be.

Do you have a particular time of day where you dedicate yourself to just writing? I’ve always been so scatterbrained and distractable that I’ve never pursued it much, despite knowing how it’s really the best way to get anything done. How long do you make yourself write? What are your essentials for your writing scene? Any tricks to share to help keep me from distractions? I’m giving it a go tomorrow since I think I have the day off, and I think the results are going to be very exciting.


  1. I’m usually up every weekday morning by 5(slept until 5:30 this morning though) and get my coffee(also like it very sweet). have pandora playing either through the Iphone or on my computer and just a light on over the counter where I work. If I don’t get my writing in during this time, it usually doesn’t happen. Have trouble writing once the kids are up, and the creative juice seems to stop flowing by afternoon. No tips on not getting distracted since I still have that problem, but I have been using 750words to get my words down, whether it’s for flash fiction or blog or story planning. That incentive seems to help keep me in my seat(although the internet still distracts).

    • Your preferred scene sounds a lot like mine, Fallon, only instead of kids, it’s my roommate. Lately, I’ve been having trouble getting up at five since I’ve been staying up a little later, but maybe I really do need to get back in line and into that early(er) morning routine!

  2. I get up too early to write in the mornings. I’m lucky to get to work on time. I usually write sometime in the evenings after work. The problem is, I don’t set a specific time. I think that’s a mistake. I need to go into my office and write at an appointed time instead of putting my laptop on my lap in the living room with the TV on. Thanks for this post which reminded me of what I should be doing!

    • Hey, no problemo. Hope it helps! See, the distraction and the TV and other things have been my downfall lately, too, so I’m thinking a particular time in the morning will be good for me….and especially a particular time frame, as well!

  3. I’m not going to lie, as for writing my back, it’s so on the back burner right now that there is no ideal setting for writing. Buuuutttt (you really need to draw that out when reading it) when it comes to flash fiction, which I have been doing more of, and reading in my particular genre I need a certain playlist (think classical and throw in some soundtrack for added interest) some good tea, which inevitably gets cold, and my fiance to be in charge of our daughter. So I can usually carve out twenty to thirty minutes a day, but sometimes I can’t even get that 😦

    • Yeah, you totally try to fit in whatever you can, when you can, but twenty to thirty minutes of solid writing? That’s be a lot more than what I’ve been doing lately….

      My tea/coffee (depending on the time of day) always gets cold, too. I assume that’s a good thing, though; it means I’m too busy working to sip, right??

  4. I have Tuesday and Thursday mornings with no children and I try to protect that time for writing. One of the reasons I started blogging was to force myself to write more and stay in creative mode. However, since I started – I will be honest – my kids have been watching more hours of television. If I get started on something I have a hard time letting it go until I get it to a certain point. Once they are in bed, my brain and body pretty much go to mush. I find it difficult to balance the living of my life and the writing in my life. Does anyone else have that problem?

    On another note, LOVE this post. It drew me back to a comment left on one of my posts ( by an artist I admire and review what she said. She briefly referenced taking care of the artist holistically, and that was a new idea for me. I’ve thought a lot about that. I love your goal of a certain amount of time or words. What a great way to set a do-able goal that gets you going but doesn’t feel overwhelming from the start.

    • I do love the idea of caring for your craft holistically; perhaps that’s been the problem lately. I haven’t been caring for my craft much at all, and I miss that. I miss being able to embrace it and cultivate it and see it grow…but that’s not going to happen unless I’m able to take the time, remove my other distractions, and really take the time to develop it.

  5. Coffee is my trigger. If I get a coffee from a particular cafe then my writing muscle kicks in and needs to work out. I must have done this often enough for it to imprint but it wasn’t deliberate. It works every time. If this cafe every goes out of business, I’m doomed.

    • Ha, thankfully, if you keep patronizing said coffee shop, hopefully their business will continue to be steady, right? I’ve stopped getting coffee from cafes because it’s just too expensive, but when the coffee I make at home winds up having the perfect blend of sugar and milk? Oh, man. Instant inspiration in a sip right there. It’s glorious.

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