Adichie said in an interview that the Internet is a huge sink of time for her. So she spends a little time in the morning reading the news. And then silence. I agree. It is fine if you’re going through a bout of writer’s block and need distraction. Otherwise turn off the Wi-Fi, pull out the ethernet cable or forget to pay the Internet bill.
Beevor moved his writing location so that he would NOT have a wonderful view of a valley out of his window. He said it was too distracting. This also holds true for the wall behind your computer. Some people like little posters and paintings. I have nothing. Instead I have a window to one side to let in the light and air (not that there are any valleys in Dwarka). And occasionally look outside while thinking of what to call the secretary who appears in just one scene. But she needs a name.
I was sick of trying to keep my workplace tidy. And the missus was getting sick of telling me why the potted plant was ok, but bundles of back-issue ‘New Yorkers’ and empty coffee cups were not. Then I saw a photo of Eric Hobsbawm’s office on the ‘Guardian’ website. The coffee cups stayed and now have plants growing out of them.
Townsend deserves a hat-tip (and not just because she convinced me that the epistolary style for a book works). Apparently she also listens to a lot of BBC radio and classical music while working. I optimistically installed a BBC Radio widget on the iMac. Then I tried www.musicovery.com that freely streams music based on the mood you choose. Which worked very well. Once you don’t care for the music, it crowds out everything else, you just zone out.