There are several different areas to talk about here.
First, there's my room. My den. My cave. Haha! Not one wall is without a poster portraying art from my favorite Anime.
Anime is a big inspiration, but I'll say that for another topic.
I have books and graphic novels sitting on shelves near my computer. On my computer I have pictures that inspire me, remind of other stories, and then it has my music. I am surrounded by all my interests in this one room. There's just so much to talk about.
My bed is on the other side of the room, but not far away from my computer. I sleep and write in the same room. It's all there within reach at any time.
Now, as far as surrounding myself with people, I like hanging out with positive of course. People who like to laugh and not be so serious all the time.
Also I like deep thinkers, people with philosophical beliefs and ideas. People who step outside the box. People with stories. Artistic people.
It's all so inspirational. It's healthy. It's full of life!
I don't need anything around me to write. Just quiet.
Only books will help you-- everything else will wind up distracting you.
Hah, you assume I have a work area, that is good... I am traveling, so don't have that right now. I like to have a quiet space, but right now am in the midst of Office Depot with music going on and sometimes I write at the library, Starbucks, Borders, other crowded noisy public places. I'd love to have a desk in front of an inspiring view, beachfront property... I did live in a house like that once and it was peaceful, beautiful, deers came to visit in the morning to graze the grass and watching the waves was powerful. I'd love to have that sort of work area again (in Hawaii)!
Booze. Well, not really, but there is always a bottle somewhere close by. I usually don't drink while I write, but sometimes, after a long day of concentrating, you just need to let go.
Otherwise, there are always papers and story ideas surrounding me.
The less clutter the better. I often lose track of time completely when I write, and I know I need total concentration to work well.
All I require is some quiet. Oddly, I also write better under pressure than when I have a lot of time on my hands.
I go to this really big lecture hall at Temple University in Philadelphia. It is called Mitten Hall. It is very open and glorious. As you enter through the big wooden doors, you are surrounded by stone. You believe that you are in a castle. Then you travel on to see cathedral ceilings, big shiney hard wood floors, stained glass windows, comfortable old fashioned furniture, and a large glorious fireplace.
If you can't be inspired here, then I don't know what to tell you.
My office is a mess.
Coffee and "mood music" are the essentials to my writing environment. Every scene in a story has a certain mood or feeling to it and I try to listen to music that helps me feel what I'm writing a little more deeply. That helps the words come more easily for me to set the scene for the reader. Coffee is just a mainstay of my diet, and helps to keep my mind alert and active when I'm writing.
Just my imagination.
Music is something that I must have on when I am writing.
Silence and nice light.