Writer’s Workspace(s).

Almost any writer will tell you that they have a particular place to go to do their work that inspires them and drives their creativity. For some people, it’s a nice quiet office-slash-library, surrounded by books, at a nice desk. Others fit the mold of the laptop-dragging coffee shop regular. Some prefer the library, and others are inspired by nature, be it in the middle of a forested park or enjoying the breeze from their back patio. I’ll admit, I’ve always wanted to be the type that can work in other places. Sometimes I manage to pull off a good half an hour at my nearest Barnes & Noble before I get distracted, but I can never write for long when I’m outside because I’d rather just revel in the nature. As far as my writerly spaces go, I am decidedly a homebody.

It changes, a little, which each residential incarnation. I’ve moved a lot, because life has always kept me going, but now that I’ve finally settled in a place with no real appearance of another change ahead of me (of course, now that I’ve said that, I’m sure life will throw something at me soon), I’ve managed to establish two Writerly Workspaces, the places that really drive my creativity and get me working. I’m a little particular, a little OCD, so when everything is aligned, I can find myself really writing.

First, the bedroom, complete with sleeping cats. This is where the majority of my work is done, and, you can see by the scattering of things, where all my projects are juggled. I do both reading and writing in this workspace, with a very particular system that reads vaguely of a sort of insanity. But it works. If I think about it too much, I find it a little odd that I’m the type of person who works and sleeps in the same place, but that’s a writer for you. Even when I’m sleeping, I’m sometimes dreaming of great plots, so the work here is almost non-stop. There is, however, the slight problem of how I’m desperately in need of a new bedding set from all the coffee spill stains… I’ll also note that the day this picture was taken, the work load was set up on light. If I weren’t lazy and took a picture this morning, you’ll see it in “full heavy” mode, where there are at least five books lined up on those pillows. Intense.

And then there’s the more traditional workspace, which is my laptop on the kitchen table (because who ever uses their kitchen table for actually eating?). Here is where the nitty-gritty of actually typing things up occurs, as well as a great deal of distractions because this is also the place where the Intraweb and whatever other distraction (Tumblr, CastleVille, Fandom High) may be. Sometimes, there are cats invading this workspace as well, but, at the time of this picture, they were still passed out on the bed. You’ll notice a notebook on the original keyboard, and a separate keyboard below it. That’s not done for the convenience of transcribing from the notebook; that’s just a happy benefit because my keyboard on the laptop doesn’t work anymore thanks to…yup…coffee spills.

Apparently, they need to invent a coffee sippy cup for klutzy writers.

Thus ends my random little foray into my personal creative process. These are my own workspaces; what are yours like? Do you have a particular spot that really fuels your creativity? Any little methods or necessities that lead to happy, healthy writing? Any suggestions where I can get a cheap, cute new bedspread? What are your thoughts on Writing Workplaces?



  1. I tend to work on my dining table where I can spread some things out if I need to. I think I’m too OCD to allow spills.

    I may build a new desk / shelves combo in my back room soon so I can work in there without having to use my knee to balance the computer on, which I currently have to do if I sue that room.

    • I do have a desk in the library, but there’s already a computer there. One that doesn’t work…Ahem.

      (It’s a cord issue, I think. Alas, a problem for someone more tech savvy then myself).

      And I’ve never been one to knee-balance a laptop. It just never worked for me.

  2. Can I write a guest post about my workspace-in-progress? =)

    Mine also has a single cat (sans tail), and many coffee spills. And a lot of kid stuff, since unschooling and writing flow together to create the fabric of my life….

    • Hi, Shan! Sorry for this late response, but I’d love to have you do a guest post if you’re still interested! Go ahead and shoot me an email at ellis(dot)engler(@)gmail(dot)com. I tried to email you, but I was unable to locate an address…

  3. My main work area is at a desk in my second bedroom. This room also has storage units with camera stuff, some books, filing cabinets, printers (laser and photo.) I’ve been using Scrivener for my novels so I need the pc for that. It will run on my netbook, but screen is too small, so I’m stuck in here. Have an iPad – good for short stories but won’t run Scrivener – or even sync with it. I have a window in here but my view is across the laneway, at my neighbour’s blank wall. This is my photo/writing/social media/downloaded movies pc too,
    I’m thinking as I write this maybe I need a separate writing place. Kitchen table is next to window with fresh air and view of back yard. Flat screen and usb keyboard are relatively cheap add-on’s for netbook.
    With the iPad – writing is in the coffee shop, or a local tavern. The tavern is a quiet place, no one bothers you, free wi-fi – just sit and nurse a cheap draft and work away.

  4. Oh, that was quite good, Ms. Engler. I enjoyed it very much.

    Many years ago, I was asked in an interview where I most prefer to write, and my answer, somewhat to my surprise, has not significantly changed: standing by the window, where the light is strong. You could say I write in a white-hot fever, or a cold sweat.

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