Time to Get a WriterΓÇÖs Room? 7 Spaces Considered
Planning to start a new writing project in the New Year? Pondering where to work? From the kitchen table to your very own writerΓÇÖs room, we weigh up the pros and cons of seven different spaces to write.
1. Kitchen table
Aka the makeshift office. In many ways this is an ideal solution if youΓÇÖre just starting out as a writer. ItΓÇÖll cost you nothing and takes no time at all to get set up, so long as youΓÇÖve got Wi-Fi at home.
Literary hat-tip: Joseph Heller wrote Catch-22 at the kitchen table of his Manhattan apartment.
Pros: ItΓÇÖs free!
Cons: The cat, the dog, your kids, and anyone who wants to make a cup of tea or bacon butty while youΓÇÖre trying to write. Prepare to be irritated frequently.
2. Home office
A private, professional working environment in the comfort of your own home ΓÇô whatΓÇÖs not to like?
Literary hat-tip: ItΓÇÖs the tried and tested approach for many successful writers, including poet Wendy Cope, novelist and biographer Margaret Forster, and crime writer Ian Rankin.
Pros: Set up your writerΓÇÖs room to suit yourself and work exactly how you like. You can even work in your PJs if you want.
Cons: Too many distractions. You can make this one work if youΓÇÖve got great self-discipline, but if youΓÇÖre the kind of writer who excels at finding ways to put off putting pen to paper, then a home office presents far too many temptations.
3. Garden office
Thanks to programmes like George ClarkeΓÇÖs Amazing Spaces, shedworking is very fashionable right now. After all, having your very own writerΓÇÖs retreat in the garden is the stuff of dreams. In fact, youΓÇÖll find many a Pinterest board and blog dedicated to garden office inspiration.
Literary hat-tip: Roald DahlΓÇÖs writing shed is well known worldwide but did you know Virginia Woolf also had a garden office?
Pros: Peace, privacy, chaffinches chirruping softly at the window ΓÇô and no commute!
Cons: The expense. Building even a small office in your garden is likely to set you back a few thousand pounds ΓÇô no pressure to sell that book, then.
4. Coffee shop
Admit it; who hasnΓÇÖt been tempted to don their best beret, grab their laptop and set up for the day in their nearest ΓÇô or trendiest ΓÇô caf├⌐. ThereΓÇÖs something so very writerly about it.
Literary hat-tip: J K Rowling started writing the Harry Potter novels at The Elephant House in Edinburgh.
Pros: Inspiration, a creativity-boosting background buzz, and a never-ending supply of that writerΓÇÖs essential: coffee.
Cons: As weΓÇÖve pointed out on the blog before, coffee shops are starting to discourage workers who take over tables and buy only the occasional latte. ItΓÇÖs becoming increasingly difficult to find coffee shops which welcome writers, especially if you need Wi-Fi too.
ThereΓÇÖs nothing quite like the hush of the library to take you back to your university days. If you live in a city or university town then lucky you ΓÇô thereΓÇÖs probably a decent library nearby.
Literary hat-tip: Comedian and writer Sandi Toksvig penned her first novel at The British Library.
Pros: Quiet, and lots of it. And books for background research; youΓÇÖll find plenty of those too.
Cons: Closing time ΓÇô means youΓÇÖll have to pack up your stuff by 9pm at the latest. Not a great option for night owls.
6. Co-working space
If youΓÇÖve done any research into office space already then youΓÇÖll know that co-working is the trend of the moment. The premise is simple: lots of desks, lots of workers, all in a single room. ItΓÇÖs a lot like campus working when you were at university ΓÇô and itΓÇÖs proving particularly popular among freelance workers who donΓÇÖt want to spend the whole day alone.
Literary hat-tip: Co-working is still relatively new, but as the number of co-working spaces increases (including the creation of spaces specifically for writers), we have to agree with DeskMag: the next great novel could be written in a co-working space.
Pros: Combines the background buzz of the coffee shop with a more business-like environment. Maybe all those other busy workers will spur you on to be more productive.
Cons: If youΓÇÖre the kind of writer who likes to work in silence then this option wonΓÇÖt work for you.
7. Private office
A serious option for serious writers. Choose your office carefully and youΓÇÖll have high-speed internet, a comfortable, professional working environment and, if you like, a room with a view. If you go down the flexible office route, then renting an office for a few months is easier and more affordable than you might think.
Literary hat-tip: Charles Dickens liked his private office in Covent Garden so much he used to sleep thereΓÇª
Pros: In addition to the Wi-Fi and professional environment, youΓÇÖll usually get 24/7 access to your office too, so no need to stop writing and pack up when youΓÇÖve hit your stride.
Cons: YouΓÇÖll need to pay rent. However, if youΓÇÖre a fulltime professional writer then the gains in terms of productivity may well make this a worthwhile investment.
But why not mix it up?
So youΓÇÖve seen the options above ΓÇô but why choose just one? As Maria Guzman recently pointed out in a piece for GeekWire, itΓÇÖs possible for todayΓÇÖs writer to work from a variety of different locations, choosing the best space for the task in hand. She suggests it could make you a more productive writer. Time to give it a try?
Where do you write? Do you have your very own writerΓÇÖs room or do you work in a shared or makeshift space? WeΓÇÖd love to hear your suggestions for the best places to write.