June Theme: My Writing Environment (Tyler Whitesides)

My wife always encourages me to let some light into the house. Open the blinds, or something. It might be a rainy day, but I don’t find out till she gets home from work and starts pulling up the window shades because our house seems as dark as a cave.

What’s the big deal, I wonder. Lots of animals like caves. Mine is an unintentional cave. I simply forget to open the blinds. I forget about a lot of things when I’m writing. Lunch is often a casualty. I look up from my manuscript, expecting the clock to read noon. Somehow it’s already going on four. No wonder I feel so hungry…

In addition to the dimness of my cave, I also like it silent. I can’t write to music, but I often use music to give my brain a release. If I’m working through a difficult passage of writing, the best thing for me is to play some music. I’m a percussionist and I love to play the marimba (a keyboard instrument like an overgrown xylophone). When I’m playing the marimba, it forces my mind away from my manuscript. By giving myself a mental break from the project, I usually find solutions.

I have an office where I do most of my heavy writing. When I edit and revise my work, I tend to do it on the couch in my living room. This change of scenery helps me to see the manuscript with fresh eyes.

As for brainstorming… my best ideas seem to come in the shower or while driving the car. If only I could figure out how to shower while driving. Then I’m sure my ideas would reach new heights!


  1. Music is my "refresh" button, too...marimbas sound so cool...

  2. I *love* the marimba, even had one in my house for a few years, but nothing that beautiful.


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