Where do they sit while they stare into space, wrestle with ideas and feverishly scribble?
What insights into their personality, methods and success can be gleaned from seeing where they work?
I remember first seeing a picture of Roald Dahl's writing shed, many years ago, and later a video tour of his shed and the garden where he walked while ideas gathered momentum. I could picture him sitting in his armchair with on a board across his lap, pages places just where he liked and left undisturbed, pencils ready. Thinking up the imaginative, peculiar stories I read as a child
Just a simple shed, but it was his own. A place he could be alone with his thoughts and characters. Somewhere his papers could be left undisturbed and his stories could incubate until they were ready to hatch. I don't think I coveted his specific shed, but certainly I wished for a space of my own. I've been collecting ideas on Pinterest, just in case.
I dream of finding space in the ceiling to build an attic (I look up there once every few months but it never changes, there are still too many beams and trusses) or a little garden shed in the backyard (which of course, the children would want to share and being a softie I would probably let them). For now though, I have found contentment in portability ... an Officeworks cloth shopping bag to take to any peaceful little corner I find. I create little retreats for myself.
Here are some of the places I have written in the last few months:
The desk in our study ... peaceful after everyone goes to sleep. The Mac is my preferred computer for research, email, blogging, typing up handwritten notes, proofreading, editing and designing. This is a space shared by all of us, but when it's my turn I can work here surrounded by noisy, occupied people, but not when they peacefully sit and watch.
Directly behind the desk in the study, my Poppy's armchair, with a children's table (it floats around the house serving many purposes). I also set up on our lounge, with my work spread out on the coffee table and a little lap desk for my netbook, exercise book or notepad.
Standing in front of my chest of drawers using the netbook. The day I took this photo, I had an idea for an article for my home education blog, so I kept racing into my room to tap out a sentence or two at a time, in between helping my children with their activities.
A corner in our bedroom. The chair is not comfortable, but at least I have a view of trees from that angle. After admiring the view for a while, I moved to the bed to write, feeling satisfied that I had found a little corner just for me!
My side of the bed, propped up with lots of pillows and under or on the covers as needed. This is my favourite place to brainstorm, write in my journal, use my white ASUS netbook or scribble ideas in little red exercise books.
Here is a huge, wonderful collection of websites which show off writer's spaces ... this one was my favourite. My friend Paula Beavan often writes in the garden. Another friend Kerrie Paterson writes while she waits for her son to finish a drama class or sport. Recently published teen author Tessa Emily Hall sometimes writes standing up.
For a look into the workspaces of some well known, successful writers, go here (unfortunately some of the links are dodgy, but there are enough to make it worth including) or here.
Wondering how to create a space?
Check out this NaNoWriMo advice or the Easy Way to Write blog.
If you need MORE links, check out these: one, two and three.
The car, library and park are sometimes the best place to find a little peace. I often come up with new story ideas when we drive, especially on country roads. I keep a notebook and pen in my handbag to jot down thoughts, snippets and names whenever they hit me. And of course, there is always a pen and notepad on the bedside table.
Have you photographed your writing space?
I'd love to see it, if you are willing to share a link!