Comments 12

Writers and their Writing Spaces

When work takes most of my time, I write on my journal wherever I am, whenever I can. In the house, I have a table for writing on notebooks, and a computer table. It’s that simple, but then, I am not a well-known writer. It’s always interesting to know how writers write… here are some glimpses into the writing spaces of some writers:

Amy Tan describes her writing space as “womblike.” In New York, she has an office which was once a closet; and in San Francisco, her writing space has a window covered with drapes: “I cannot deal with distractions,” she says, so the curtains are there to block the view.

American novelist and young-adult and children’s writer Alice Hoffman paints her writing space, her office, a different color each time she begins working on a new book. She also decorates the room with items that reminds her of the book she’s working on.

Sherman Joseph Alexie, Jr., a poet, writer, and filmmaker, writes mostly at 3 a.m. at one of the branches of International House of Pancakes.

Eric Maisel, in his book A Writer’s Space, Make Room to Dream, to Work, to Write, says that focus is the writer’s goal in choosing or designing a writing space: “Like a surgeon, your goal is to focus. You want to muster your resources and canalize your energy.”

According toMaisel, “As a general rule a large space dissipates energy, noise produces distraction, views rob the mind of neurons, toys cry out to be played, and even a book near at hand is a reason to stop early.”

Maisel says that a church is also a good analogy for a writing space: “You will do better with a quiet room, a closed door, a serene view or no view at all, a little organization (and all the mess you like), and that feeling in your heart that you are in the only church you need, where you pray poems and praise prose.”




  1. I’d love to have my own writing space, I think it would be lovely and I’m sure I could get lots more done 😀 I just don’t have the room, so unfortunately, it’s just me, my notebook and wherever I can find space! Great post 🙂


    • I hope someday you’ll have your own writing space, and in the meantime, here’s hoping you’ll find lots of lovely writing spaces in many places!


  2. Nice compilation. I’m in agreement with Amy Tan, I can’t be near a curtain-less window – for work, study, or writing – nothing would get done.

    So, in my journal, it’s the kitchen counter, and at my desk with my laptop pc. But I can write anywhere. Cheers!


    • I guess we all have to make do with what we have – for now, until the time we are able to write best sellers and we will be able to move away from kitchen counters, and our desks will be inside our dream writing room. Thanks for the visit.


  3. savannah99 says

    I’m usually curled up in my bed since most of my inspirations seem to come just before I am about to go to sleep….or at 3:00am, it’s kind of annoying but I get a pen and start writing since I…can’t rely on my memory to recall the information when I wake up!


  4. Windows must stay covered and I often turn off the television so I can write without distraction. I too usually get my great ideas somewhere around 2-3 am, so I sleep with a notebook and pens.

    However, I don’t think I could manage painting my office every year or so. I fall in love with the colors and once I feel cozy in my ‘cave’, I just don’t want to change it too much!

    I am currently slowly moving my writing space up to the choir loft because, funnily enough, my parents bought an old church building that we are fixing up. During my daughter’s increasingly shorter nap times I like to try to sneak upstairs from the basement and set one more thing in its place.

    Maybe I’ll have my own space up away from everyone by 2015?? Until then, I just carry notebooks with me wherever I go and often spend my writing time sitting cross legged on my bed with the notebook balanced on one knee, much like I used to do when pretending to study in college.

    Thank you for the interesting post.


    • Amazing, you are actually living and writing in a church! Wow! Yes, yes, we carry our notebooks with us until we hit it big and can afford our dream writing spaces. Here’s to the fruition of our writing dreams!


  5. Quill & Lantern says

    I’m odd – I like some background noise ! I can easily write while watching a movie. (That might be due to working as a journalist on the run.)


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