I play loud music - I have to have a good soundtrack to work.
I keep all my tools within reach so I don't have to search for them, things such as a good thesaurus, dictionary, a marketing guide - anything that will help me improve the piece I'm writing. Nothing else. No distractions.
I sit on my desk, in my room. It's always the best environment for me to concentrate.
I play music from the TV and sit in the middle of the kitchen table with people talking all around me in order to focus on writing. There are times that I need quiet,like when I am uploading pictures and trying to make sure that the pictures are the right size but most of the time when I am being creative, I need noise.
Oh, my...the desk is littered with books, papers and pictures
I'm fine as long as I'm comfortable. I don't like silence so TV or radio in the background is cool. I like my dog to be in the room. I have to be warm and cosy and not hungry or thirsty. I don't like to be interrupted by the doorbell or a phonecall.
You need to be alone, or I need to be alone, to work. Distractions are not so much a problem for me as they are for others, some need absolute silence and no window but rather a blank wall in front of them.
Music may at times be rather helpful, though I have recently found pleasure in silence or the natural sounds I may head while writing outdoors. Magazines, books and Web sites highlighted and underlined numerous times over tend to surround me, if for no other reason than accuracy in reporting and assistance with direction and format of the particular piece I am working on.
A lit candle is essential for some reason. I like winter dawns best. I need a computer and reference books of course, some flower essence from a good friend, and most of all, peace and quiet. Sometimes I have radio 4 on in the background or classical music but mostly just quiet.
Nothing else matters when I'm writing. I don't need anything else other than silence.
Maybe this sounds funny... I find that if I forget to pull my watch on, the words just don't want to come. Doesn't matter that it's a cheap nine dollar watch from Wal-mart, it has to be on my wrist!
Other than that, I have my coffee, cigarettes (I know, I know), Index cards, a pen, Kleenex and my Idea Box. On my walls: a calendar, a white board (submissions) and a bulletin board (for things like "John Grisham was rejected by 28 publishers!).
Nothing and nobody. Just my computer and the 19 reference books on grammar that I keep on the shelf above my desk.
You may get more done on a long Greyhound bus ride to nowhere than in the quiet of some antiseptic think tank full of convenience.
This no longer matters. When I was younger I was less tolerant.
Silence - can't write with music. Something to munch on like peanuts and lots of tea/coffee.