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Peace and Quiet, or Buzzing with Activity?

HippieVan at 12:00AM, Dec. 16, 2016

What is the best atmosphere to create in? This applies to art, of course, but also to just about anything you might be working on independently.

Some of my friends seem to be able to work with limitless distractions around. Fairly regularly I go over to my friend’s house to find her and her roommates chatting and watching tv in the living room, each of them with an essay open on their laptops. I can see the attraction, especially if you’re in a situation where you can bounce ideas off of the people around you and inspire each other.

Personally, I am very easily distracted, so I can’t get anything done that way. I usually work in my quiet corner of the house with the door shut and my headphones on. In an odd way, though, I do find that having other people around or even just being in a public space helps to keep me accountable. I’m less likely to slack off and spend hours watching Netflix when I’m working somewhere other than at home. And I tend to go a little bit crazy when I spend too much time inside my own head, so it’s good to be reminded that a world outside of my brain exists.

But I also have pretty specific requirements for what that space has to be. If anyone actually talks to me, I find that incredibly distracting and irritating while I’m working. So anywhere where people know me is out – I usually avoid trying to get any serious work done in my department’s university common room for that reason. I know just about everyone who frequents that space, and the periodic “How are yous” really make it hard to stay in the groove. Loud conversations also break my concentration, so restaurants are out. Generally, libraries and particular coffee shops work best.

What kind of atmosphere do you like best for working in? Does it depend on whether the work you’re doing is creative or something else? Does it depend on your mood?

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Udyr at 11:44AM, Dec. 16, 2016

I attend a comic drawing club in Oslo sometimes and usually I only draw alone but I'm actually pretty effective during it. It might be because there's more comic drawers but I think I do better around others though then they got to draw too. If someone talks directly to you or loudly there's another story.

Banes at 9:15AM, Dec. 16, 2016

I'm right there too, Hippy - Easily distracted. I hadn't thought of finding a quiet public place to escape the distractions at home and feel more accountable. It's a good idea!

KimLuster at 8:04AM, Dec. 16, 2016

Anything that requires feedback from me (talking, etc...) I cannot do work to, but I can watch TV or Movies and draw at the same time all day long!

EssayBee at 6:48AM, Dec. 16, 2016

I do my rough writing/concepts/outlines/pencils/etc. in notebooks and drawing pads, usually while I'm sitting with the family and chatting. My office space doesn't have a door and opens onto the kitchen/living area of the house, so there's also not much privacy when I sit down at my computer to type up and finalize scripts or work on comic pages, and it's not uncommon for me to need to get up to lend a hand to my wife or kids. That said, I'm infamous for saying, "Give me a minute," to get to a decent stopping/pausing point (which can sometime turn into minutes) before actually getting up to do anything, frequently to the annoyance of my wife and kids.

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