Personal Writing Spaces - How important are they?

Blogs, interviews and documentaries show that thousands of authors agree; the space in which you choose to write directly affects your creativity and performance.  Sure, it sounds good.  I even agree with the theory.  And I am still the last writer on the planet without even the semblance of a personal writing space.    

It’s my own fault.  I’ve managed to find an excuse each and every time the prospect has occurred to me.  And, so, I’ve done all my writing in cars, in bed, at restaurants, in waiting rooms, at my day-job desk, at the kitchen table, on the floor and in the front porch swing.  I found the most success when sequestered in the den with a bean bag for a chair and a leather ottoman for a desk. 

But, all of that is over.  I’ve finally seen the light … and the potential for devastating psychiatric bills if I attempt to tackle our absurd year-long project without the order and safety of a designated writing space.  It just so happens (yes, I’m ridiculously lucky) that we have a currently unoccupied room in which to spread my literary wings.  Yippee!  Time to unfurl!

I need your help, authors!  What are some absolute “must haves” in your writing spaces?  What works?  What doesn’t?  Is there a good color for creativity?  How important is a good chair, really?  Because those things are PRICEY! 


Hilary's Writing Office



02/13/2012 5:10am

There are a few things I find essential, but some of them are because I'm a bit odd. The first is a giant jug of juice, and somewhere to put it. I get thirsty, a lot. If I had to get up and down every time I wanted a drink, I'd never get anything done. The fact that my bladder can hold out for a long time helps too, and actually adds in much needed breaks so that I can take a moment to think about what direction I'm headed. The second is a candy dish, or bowl of pub mix, or something of that sort. Lastly, I have to have my headphones nearby. I'm always playing music while writing, that background noise helps keep my mind from wandering too much, and different playlists help me keep the mood for different sections of the manuscript.

Hope some of that helps!

02/13/2012 6:49am

Jack, I would NEVER have thought of the 'giant jug of juice'. But, you're right. Stepping out of your writing zone (even for a few seconds) severs your tie to the piece you're working on. Sometimes that can be a good thing. But why create unnecessary interruption with the occasional craving or hunger?

So, it may not be juice, but there will undoubtedly be something on my desk to snack on and sip on at all times. Thanks for the idea!

02/14/2012 3:16pm

If you plan on sitting at your desk to write, make sure you invest in the highest quality desk chair you can afford. Do not get one of those cheap secretary chairs from Wal-mart! Go to a business supply store and try a few out before making up your mind.

My first chair turned out to be a real butt buster after a few months of use. The one I've got now is of much higher quality and it really makes a difference. Now I understand why the call centre I once worked for spent obscene amounts of money on the chairs its employees had to sit in for hours on end.

02/14/2012 6:22pm

I was afraid that was the case. My wallet won't thank me but I'm sure my behind will!


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