There is a really interesting article in today’s SF Chronicle about where writers write: In A Room with a Muse four California-based writers invite readers into their workspace. The article interviews Anne Lamott, Amy Tan, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) and his wife, Lisa Brown. There is a photo of each author in his/her workspace, surrounded by what inspires each of them.
I loved this piece, especially because I have read Lamott’s Bird by Bird and was just given a copy of Tan’s The Opposite of Fate by a friend who said I must read it ASAP. To have a visual image of where these women work seems to make the experience of reading their writing memoirs more intimate and personal. Although knowing that Handler writes on a gyno’s table gives me an altogether different intimate vibe…
So I started thinking about my own writing space and what I can do to improve it. Right now it’s tricky for me, as I’m juggling between two locations, both with awfully uncomfortable chairs and bad lighting. But since I’m going to be traveling for much of the next year, why should it matter? It’s hard to know, but there are surely some small things I can do to make my space work for me regardless of where I am, like always having a lined journal and supply of my favorite papermate pen.
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How important is a good workspace to producing good work? My guess is that it may depend on where you are at in your writing life. Jen loves her new desk and is diligent about going to the library to work on her book. But I’m nowhere near the book writing phase yet, so a consistant well-defined workspace does not seem as important for me right now.
What do you think? What is most important to you when making decisions about where to write? What is the priority for you? And how do travel writers deal with the extra challenges of establishing a decent workspace while always on the go?