Writer’s Space: Where and How Do You Write?

Image of a laptop on a deskThere is an interesting Flavorwire post that displays a collection of twenty-five images of writers (some working) in their homes–and, their writer’s space.  You’ll probably recognize the names of a majority of the writers.

There is our boy, Hemingway, in his egomaniacal glory.  There is an image of Mark Twain in his office, and Henry Miller in his cabin in Big Sur.   Zora Neale Hurston (“Their Eyes Were Watching God”) types on a simple table in one of the images, Anne Sexton puts her feet up in another, and Virginia Woolf sits outside her home in yet another image.  The entire Fitzgerald family poses for one photo.

Some of the more interesting images in the collection are Man Ray’s image of Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas in Paris, as well as an image of Vladimir Nabokov with his wife, Vera—who the Wikipedia describes as his “secretary, typist, editor, proofreader, translator and bibliographer; his agent, business manager, legal counsel and chauffeur; his research assistant, teaching assistant and professorial understudy.”

Writing and My Space

Clearly, some of the writers like to be surrounded by their books as either reference texts, or perhaps as some kind of a writer’s emotional security blanket.  And, yet others, have almost nothing in their writing space.  The image of James Baldwin, for example, shows him writing on a simple table. Perhaps he moved his work aside to eat dinner.  And, Alice Walker’s room is tiny.  It is crammed with her desk, and a small, twin bed next to it.

These images got me to thinking about my own relationship between writing and space.  I have written on the large desk surrounded by my books—as some of the writers.  I have also had the all-in-one, tiny space where my bed lived close to my desk (and they both were two steps from the kitchen).  I have also written in even smaller spaces—on sailboats and in motel rooms while traveling, and in public spaces like the side of hiking trails and coffee shops.  And, I have discovered that the physical place where I am writing is less important to me than some of the other factors.

Writing and Your Space

But, what about you?  Where do you write?  How does your space affect your writing?  Does geography or seasons affect what you compose or the quality of your work?  I would love to hear about your work space and what affects the space has upon your works.


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