Opened book with a wonderful world inside.
Blog 09.12.2021

Where Writers Work Best?

“It’s no secret that the best place to write is in a café.” –J.K. Rowling

It’s so important to know where and how you work best, and this includes a lot of different options. You may ask yourself questions such as: 

  • Am I a morning person or a night person?
  •  Do I like to write and work standing or sitting?
  •  Do I get inspiration from lots of color, plants, and images on the wall, or do I prefer neutral, plain surroundings?
  • Am I more productive indoors or outside in nature?
  • Do I prefer to write on a laptop or longhand in a notebook?

Even though typewriters have gone out of fashion, that’s how many of our favorite writers wrote and, when we think of them, we inevitably hear the sound of keys clinking away on a clunky, heavy machine and fresh paper being inserted and aligned just so. Or, we imagine someone like John Milton reading and writing by candlelight with a quill and ink. Today we think of people sitting around in coffee shops with their sleek laptops, typing away, with earbuds inserted. Tennessee Williams always had a drink nearby, and Lillian Hellman most likely always had a cigarette dangling from her lips. Here’s what we know about some of our favorite writers and where and how they liked to work best: 

  • Charles Dickens wrote at his favorite desk while sitting in his favorite chair. It’s been said that he had this desk shipped to wherever he was so he could get his work done.
  • Hemingway actually wrote while standing.
  • Virginia Woolf loved to write while sitting in her favorite comfy chair in the basement, where it was quiet.
  • Did you know that Agatha Christie liked to come up with ideas in the bathtub of all places (while eating apples no less)?
  • Edith Wharton wrote in bed, by hand, with a pot of ink and her dog.
  • Mark Twain went to his study after breakfast where he wouldn’t be bothered, often skipping lunch. When his family needed him for something, they’d use a horn to alert his attention.
  • Toni Morrison preferred to write in the mornings, especially when her children were small as they were still asleep.

“I kept always two books in my pocket: one to read, one to write in.”

— Robert Louis Stevenson

Find a Cozy Spot

(George Bernard Shaw’s writing shed in Hertfordshire)

  • J.K. Rowling did a great deal of writing in a coffee house in Edinburgh (The Elephant House) while her daughter dozed. 
  • Just remember that if you’re going to write, you have to read, too. You’d be surprised at how much reading you can get done in a day if you carry around a book and use those spare moments to read rather than text or stare off into space. When you decide where you’d like to write, you’ll need the proper tools, of course, along with some peace and quiet. 
  • Most writers work in a study or office surrounded by lots of books.
  • Some of the coziest spots to write include a window seat, a comfortable chair or sofa (with a good light nearby), or a sunroom or porch. 
  • George Bernard Shaw actually wrote in a little shed situated on a wheel so it could be moved according to the sunlight and switch up his view!

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