Light Or Dark


Where do you work best, in the light or in the dark?

Hmmmmm. Interesting question, Dave.

Well thank you, Dave.

This, of course, is the most important work/writing related question I’ve ever asked. It’s more important than what music to listen to, or what genre to write in, or whether to plot or pants, or self vs traditional publish, or even whether to write at all.

No, I’m not procrastinating real writing right now. Rude of you to suggest that, actually.

So what is it? Do you prefer to write in a light, airy space, or in a dark, enclosed space?

Since I’m pantsing this blog post (sweet reference to the earlier list I wrote, right?), let’s walk through both options.

For me, writing in a light, airy space jumps out as the obvious answer at first.  Who wouldn’t want to have great views looking out of gigantic floor-to-ceiling windows, or all the open space in the world?  It’s very romantic to think about writing while looking out at the waves of the ocean, or with some incredible piece of architecture (The Eiffel Tower, anybody?) dominating the background.  It’s a nice picture, right?  I think so.

So yeah, writing in a light, airy space sounds great.  There’s so much room to be creative, so many things to inspire you.  In terms of having a good, upbeat, happy, positive day, writing in a light, airy space is likely better for your soul.

When I think about writing in the dark, though, I realize that that’s where I’m actually more productive.  There’s nothing but me and the screen and probably some energy drink in my hand (this reminds me of when I used to lock myself up in the dark for 6+ hours in college to complete a CS homework assignment – me, seven Monster Energy cans, and several hundred lines of code).  This image is kind of romantic too, isn’t it?  The hard-working artist staying up late at night working on his/her passion, putting in the hours to create something great.

Romance aside, working in the dark is practical as well.  No distractions.  Just you and your work.  Nothing but four walls and all the time in the world.  Will your soul (and eyesight) suffer?  Probably.  But the work will get done!

So, while I prefer to write in the light, I actually get more writing done in the dark. How’s that for dissembling and not giving a real answer? When my writing career is over, politics await.

What about you? Do you prefer writing in the light or the dark?

9 comments on “Light Or Dark”

  1. Aahhh, what a refreshing and thought provoking question! I actually prefer enclosed space, a whole in the middle of the woods, my big comfy chair, a cozy corner of Starbucks. Light and airy allows for great righting of empowerment, positivity, and humor… While darkness also has its advantages.

    1. Thanks, I’m glad you liked it! Thanks for sharing :-). I’m still torn between the two, but if I was going off of this very moment, I’d have to say enclosed, because I reeeeeallly need to get a lot of work done right now haha

  2. I probably write best somewhere along that road in the photo heading this post…yeah, maybe not. I guess I’ve never really had a light and airy space so that is ruled out for lack of confirming data. I suspect I’d find a fine view to be distracting.

    I need enough light to see comfortably, but I’m fine with natural light and only turn on the electric stuff when it fades too much. Hmmm, I’m sounding as indecisive as you. Probably closer to dark and enclosed, but with enough light to comfortably see. How’s that?

    1. Haha just grab a table and go set up shop right on the edge there!

      Do you write by hand or on a computer? Sometimes I find the electric glow fo the computer inspiring in the dark, but sometimes I find it too harsh.

  3. Funny you bring this up…I write best 9pm – 2am, oddly enough. I like a little light but I can’t get much done during daylight hours as I’m too easily distracted by all the outdoor stuff I could be doing…middle of the night, everyone else is sleeping, the world (in my neighborhood anyway) has gone quiet, and I can hear myself think. Each of the three books I published were mainly written during those hours. Bewitching, eh?

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