Writing is the kind of art that requires zero distractions, so it is important that every writer, professional or not, have a space where they can retreat to their work without interruption. It can be hard to design your own, so take a look at the writing spaces of these successful authors for inspiration. Whether they chose to work in a grand attic or a small garden shed, it’s easy to see why they all find inspiration from their own writing spaces.
If you want your writing space to keep you completely focused, I recommend looking to Jodi Picoult. Throughout the span of her career, Picoult has written 30+ books ( that averages one book per year!) over the span of her career, so she definitely knows something about the ideal writing space.
Nestled in the attic of her New Hampshire farmhouse, Picoult’s office is the perfect work station. Not only is Picoult’s desk angled away from the window to prevent distractions (does anyone else get lost while looking out of them sometimes? I know I do...) but her wall color is sure to motivate and energize. The color purple is often associated with feelings of ambition, power, and creativity, all traits crucial to making it in the writing world.
As most creatives know, it can be hard to keep your workspaces clean and neat! But guess what? A clean workspace isn’t one of the keys to success at all, just take a look at Stephen King!
King’s office space, pictured on the cover of his memoir On Writing, is tiny, cramped, and cluttered. With books and manuscripts on every surface, it’s easy to see that King draws his inspirations from the books that he has read.
As you can see in the photograph below, King only had one computer (and an ancient one at that… let’s hope he has something more updated) used to type up later drafts of his manuscript. King is one of the few prolific authors who prefer to do their first drafts with pen and paper. If you find yourself struggling to focus while drafting on a computer, try King’s method instead!
Roald Dahl (a British author of many classics like Matilda and The BFG) would write for four hours every day in a shed dispatched from his home. Dahl’s space was dedicated to working, and he recommends only putting the things that create inspiration in your writing space. Dahl only included photos of his friends and family (as well as fan letters) in his writing space. Like King, Dahl chose to draft without a computer so you won’t be able to find one anywhere in his space.
Dahl knows that a distraction-free environment is crucial to writing, and recommends that any writer, “keep your bottom on the chair and stick it out. Otherwise, if you get in the habit of walking away when you are stuck you will never get it done.”
Working on a vintage typewriter, Danielle Steel is known for working 20-24 hour shifts when the urge strikes, so it's no wonder that she has written over one hundred books throughout her career. With a desk that she had custom-built (if you look closely, it is actually three of her books stacked on one another) it’s easy to see why Steel pumps out great reads in her writing space.
Like Dahl, she knows the importance of working through your work when it gets hard. According to her, it’s better to end up with 30 pages that need serious edits as opposed to nothing at all. Finding a good space to work is crucial to making that happen!
As you can see, the writing spaces of your favorite authors greatly vary based on their personalities and writing styles. When you go to create yours, make sure you take your writing style into account, as each one of these authors did.