Writing Workspace: The Best Places to Write

A dedicated writing space. Most writers’ dream. Well, mine at least. I dream of having a quiet cottage by the sea with a desk facing the window. A mug of coffee by my WIP and a bookshelf (or ten) with all my favourite books on the art of writing. It wouldn’t hurt to have a money tree in the garden so I don’t have to have a day job.

But then, this is just a dream.

In reality, most of us have a lot of responsibilities. A day job to pay the bills, a husband, kids to take to soccer practice, a house to save from the kids and God only knows what else. In such a scenario, our writing space becomes our haven. A place to which we can retire, shut the real world out and concentrate on the lovely-jubbely world of our imaginations.

But trouble is that most of us don’t have the physical space to have a separate writing room or indeed, a desk. So where do we go?

Here are a few of my favorites:

1. The local library or bookshop: Let’s face it. We are surrounded by distractions. Internet, social media, TV, household responsibilities are all vying for our attention. In such a scenario, I find the peaceful environment of a bookshop very inspiring. I make it a point to go to the big Foyles in London at least once a week, plonk myself on a sofa in the children’s section, turn off my phone and write. Trust me, it works wonders.

2. A secluded corner in your office: We have a few comfy little bean bags lying around in my office. I like nothing better than settling down on one of these every lunch with my ipad and a mug of coffee.

3. The local coffee shop: JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter in a local coffee shop in Edinburgh. The story of its birth is as famous as the book itself. And why shouldn’t it be? You don’t have to make your own coffee and you can be around people. Coffee shops can work wonders on the imagination. I cannot tell you how many characters I have modelled based on people I observed from behind my coffee. And because I want to stay out of the courts, I won’t say any more because most of those characters are now Goblins or Vampires of sort. Shhhhh ..

4. In a writers group: In London, we began a writers group where a bunch of writers (of different genres) get together and spend a few hours writing. There is nothing like having a room full of people, scratching their heads and staring into space, to get you in the writing groove.

5. Your sofa, when everyone is asleep: Think about it. Your home: Quiet! Put the kids and the hubby to sleep or wake up before they do. Nothing like a quiet house and a pot of coffee ,bubbling away merrily, to get the creative wheels turning.

Food for Thought: What are the places where you write best? At a desk in the attic or hidden in a meeting room at work?

Categories: My Writing Journey, On Writing

8 Comments on “Writing Workspace: The Best Places to Write”

  1. July 12, 2011 at 11:51 am #

    We have a corner of our bedroom dedicated entirely to writerly efforts: a bigscreen tv hooked up to a custom built workstation/server. A loveseat recliner and a pair of wireless keyboards allow me and wifey to write simultaneously. It’s just perfect… if only we had more time :)

    • July 12, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

      Aaah, time. I have been wishing for a 60 hour day for years now. Yours sounds like an amazing setup. I am J.

  2. July 12, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    I would love to have your dream writing space! It sounds perfect. I have a little corner set up in my living room but it seems I spend most of my time writing on the couch. Now to just get the family to bed early enough to have some quiet time.

    I’ve always wanted to try to write in a little coffee shop but I haven’t done it yet. It may be a good option.

    • July 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

      If you find a way to stop the family going to bed at insane o’clock, tell me too. :) .. So much more productive when it is quiet and I don’t have to share the coffee.

  3. July 12, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    Ah, my dream, too! Right now the writing space is the dining room table, which, while cluttered, works okay most of the time. But home was a little crazy today and I was really hoping to go some place else, but didn’t know where to go! Need to scour my local coffee shops, I think, and find some place promising. None of my libraries have enough outlets! Grrr!

    • July 12, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

      I find that the local cafes work best. Starbucks stinks too much like coffee and gives me a headache. Small independently owned cafes are best. If they are nice, they sometimes throw in free crossaints. :)

  4. July 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    I have a formal office just off the master bedroom for work writing. When I need a change of scenery or inspiration for creative writing pursuits, I have little 2-seater bistro sets scattered around the property. If it’s too hot outside, there’s always my workbench in the shop. I’ve found that if I go to the library, book store, or coffee shop, I wind up people watching instead of writing. Great inspiration for character building ideas, but not so good for actually getting writing done. ;)

    • July 13, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

      Niiice :) .. Lucky you! .. Lots and lots of places for you to get work done.

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