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A Room of Your Own: Create a Writing Space that Allows, Invites, & Inspires You to Write

It might be an office or an attic. A corner of a bedroom or laundry room. A table at a coffee shop you earmark just for writing. A chair you designate as your writing chair.

What is most important about your writing space, whether it’s an entire room or just a nook, is that you create a place—in both your environment and your psyche—that allows and invites and inspires you to write.

You can write in the space of a tool shed

In The Writing Life Annie Dillard writes that “you can read in the space of a coffin, and you can write in the space of a tool shed meant for mowers and spades.”

She insists, in fact that “appealing workplaces are to be avoided.”

“One wants a room with no view,” she says, “so imagination can meet memory in the dark.”

I differ with Annie on this point. I’ve written in libraries and coffee shops, in basements and attics, in cabins and cottages; I’ve written in my car. And, while I can write in each of these spaces, I’ve found that I’m most inspired when I’m surrounded by space and light.

I like to be reminded that there’s a great big world outside my window that is calling me to write about it, and so when my husband and I were looking for a house, we were ecstatic to find one with a sunny attic.

Create a space that inspires your writing

I invite you to think about the kind of space that will feed your writing.

Are you like Dillard in that you prefer a space with as little distraction as possible?

Or do you prefer, as I do, a room with a view?

While you're at it, take a moment to consider the tools that inspire you to write. Is it a well-stocked mug of pens? A journal waiting for you on your nightstand?

Something magical happens when you enter your designated writing space. You see your books and notebooks, your laptop and pens. These are your cues. It is time to write.


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