I just plug into my "tunes". I have over 2500 songs that I have saved by "mood". I become the mood I choose... freaky huh?
The green cathedral of trees outside my study window, my favorite books, pictures of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the Declaration of Independence on the wall, my little dachshund, Ginny, curled up next to my desk.
No music or phone. My tomcat, George, keeps me focused. I am, after all, his unpaid staff.
My work area is somewhat cluttered. That's the way I like it. My printer is close along with my dictionary and thesaurus. I keep my various stories in their own folders for quick reference if I am tweeking or preparing to submit them. The other thing I have handy is my ipod. I love to listen to jazz when I write.
My companion animals: Two Brittanys and a black cat. My muse is Lake Tahoe. I write books in my study. I pen articles in the bedroom or living room.
It's more like what I don't surround myself with! I can work anywhere I have a pen and paper at the least, and a stable writing table (my knees work if everything else isn't bouncing). It's the people in my life I need to be free of to concentrate. If I'm at work in the lunch room, someone will always want to talk to me about what I'm doing. At home, my family has constant needs for attention. At one time I had a nice little space to go to, and a door to close, but even that didn't keep people from knocking until I answered, or just talking through the door.
I do work best with some sort of background noice to tune out. The total silence is unsettling because I get so little of it it distracts me.
I write in my living room with the TV on and my cat running about. Sometimes my 5 year old granddaughter, Raquel, is here too. Raquel loves to have my attention and I never deny her. She is more important than what ever I might be writing. Besides, inspiration usually comes, not while you're writing, but while you're just living your life. Be open to inspiration and it will find you. It rarely occurs when you're staring at the computer screen or a sheet of paper. That's like trying to pull creativity out of your ass; whatever comes out, usually stinks.
nothing. i need space.
I work best when I don't have interruptions, but I can work with family around, TV on, etc. The key is just having an area to work. Right now, I'm writing in the back corner of our RV with my legs pulled up under me, and have written entire short stories here. Ahhhh, for a nice office!
I listen to music, primarily
Quiet, light and plenty of room to lay out references.