What a writer’s room should look like…

This is what a writer’s room looks like… Post-it notes papering the walls, a map, files, open reference books, photos…

I imagine there are teettering towering piles of books just out of the picture too.

This is the room in which Will Self wrestles with and writes his stories.

He says he tries to break free from traditional constraints.

The man himself – Will Self – wondering has he written enough to justify pausing for a cup of tea.

My ideal writer’s room is full of light, with lots of desk space and a view over fields.

The real one was cramped with books written by other people, shaded and prone to interruption.

These days the kitchen is the place. I perch amidst the chaos. Not terribly conducive to to a high word count, but it’s more social than before and makes collaboration with Top Girl easier. She’s full of ideas – which trumps everything else.

What’s your writer’s room like? Is it a room of your own at all? Or are you perched in the middle of a crowd?


Filed under My Writing

28 responses to “What a writer’s room should look like…

  1. This looks like a real haven for any writer he just looks round at the walls and there’s his inspiration.

    • blackwatertown

      Yes – and he’s still able to stare out the window if he wants. Being able to stick stuff on the wall and leave it there till you’re done, is a great help too.

  2. My writing room/space is small and mobile. Three years ago before I had a hip replaced I bought a bed table on castors – the kind that slides in from one side of the bed. About 4/5ths of the surface tilts and perfect for the laptop, the fixed space at the side takes a narrow tray large enough to take a coffee cup and plate of sandwiches or notebook and phones. It has really come into its own again since I sprained my ankle. I push it ahead of me as I hop about on one leg and my crutches from room to room or chair to chair.

  3. A minimalist at heart, my loft desk — perched in front of a window — is empty other than my laptop.

  4. Ah a room to write in – what a dream that would be. We have a lovely sun filled room at the back of the house, but it is in turns a play room for the boy, a home office for Hubbie and a yoga room for me. It also substitutes for a cat warming space when he is bored of sunbathing outside.

    Hubbie has grand plans for a log cabin at the end of the garden and I dream of my extended kitchen with patio doors and a long table to sit with a constant supply of tea and permanently tapping away at my macbook. Well a woman can dream can’t she ?

  5. rummuser

    I don’t have a separate room and one corner of the dining area has been converted to accommodate my computer and peripherals. My books are spread all over the place but I know exactly where I can find one when I want to.

    • blackwatertown

      Sometimes people don’t appreciate such a precise book filing system and try to make one conform to some less personal or effective system. I have one like yours.

  6. Well it certainly doesn’t look like that one!! 😉

  7. If I’m not careful, my room will look that way. It doubles as a studio and office. In another section, where my gallery is, I even have a bed, so if it’s late and I’m too tired to climb the stairs, there I sleep. But after seeing this, I think I’m gonna clean up. 🙂

    • blackwatertown

      Ah – but you’re an altogether more complicated beast – not just a writer, but an artist. Artists’ studios can be all sorts of mixes of (Ali Baba and) the 40 Thieves’ cave, a boudoir, a workshop an ante room to a new dimension. Okay, I may be getting a bit carried away here.

  8. My posting room is my study on the first floor, but I write anywhere in the house, wherever I fancy. I always hand-write my posts and then type them onto the blog. Somehow writing it out gets my creative juices flowing more easily.

    • blackwatertown

      A considered approach. Very civilised.
      I have a friend who used to live on Ardinlee Avenue. He had a grand first floor room with studded leather seats. A room for contemplation. Smoking cigars. Sipping port. Wearing a smoking jacket… I think that was his plan anyway. Too far from the back kitchen to drink tea in.

  9. I got a desk for writing, but then my computer took it over (because it’s selfish), so now I have no desk for writing. That statement kind of contradicts iteself, but I write stories in notebooks first (now while sitting on the couch rather than at my desk), then transfer the final copy to the computer. Except, I do write blog posts straight onto the computer. I could just move the computer, but it’s heavy and too much effort to move.

    • blackwatertown

      You’re a bit like Nick then – except that you’re being bullied by your computer. Don’t let the machines take over. You owe it to the rest of duck kind.

  10. Val

    Oh, all those notes or whatever they are, on the wall, would drive me crazy! There’s too much visual stuff going on. That said, my room is total chaos – more than you could imagine (probably. Though you’ve got a good imagination so who am I to presume that you couldn’t?!) and I spend most of the time when I’m in here, facing away from it all. Well, apart from the stuff that’s on my desk.

    it used to be that I could paint when there was mess around me, but couldn’t write, and vice versa. Now I only tidy up when I absolutely have to – usually when things get too dusty for me to cope wth it.

    I also have loads of post its, not on the walls though.

  11. Val

    Knew I forgot something in that comment: I have the view you long for! 😉

    • blackwatertown

      Aah lucky you.
      I approve of post its – the alternative is writing notes on my hand – and the space there is limited and subject to occasional washing.

  12. I agree with Val: The sheer number of those post-it notes on the wall would drive me crazy – particularly as they are all in a straight line and columns instead of all over the place. There is an urgency there most conducive to causing acute anxiety, making you flee to the kitchen to do the washing up instead.

    I am very fond of Will Self – the man. I love listening to him in debate: So dry, so assured, never ruffled. Intelligence (and intellect) in motion.


    • blackwatertown

      I get your washing up reference.
      Sometimes it seems as though the only way to get yourself writing (or whatever) is for it to be a way to put something else off.

  13. I love it when individuals come together and share views.
    Great blog, stick with it!

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