Monday, December 29, 2014

Cool Writing Rooms

Writing is my full-time job. I do most of it on the sofa recliner, surrounded by my living room. Probably not the most scenic of locations! I thought I'd write on our comfy patio furniture outside, which has a view of a pond...



But as it turns out, laptop screens are really hard to see outside. There's a glare. So much for my dream of writing on the beach.



One thing I'm fascinated with is writing rooms. Writers often share photos of their offices, which are basically desks surrounded by piles and piles of books.



What I want is a room with a view. I always mention the final scene of Wonder Boys, where Michael Douglas is writing in an office, surrounded by windows with a waterfront view. 

I can't find that clip, though, so instead here are some writing rooms that would make sitting at a desk worth it.

This one belongs to Tracy Bloom:



Hannah Fielding shared her French writing room on her website, emphasizing that normally she sits on the other side of the desk to take advantage of the view.



This one isn't a writer's room, but Rick's Photography pulled this photo of a home office with a view from a Laguna Beach listing. 



Berlin writer Jane Flett posted a photo of her Berlin writing space on this blog




Flett does mention repeatedly the distractions she faces, however, so maybe there's a lesson to be learned. Maybe rooms with a view don't inspire. Maybe there's a reason writers work in rooms like this one.



Would you work better with a beautiful view in front of you? Or would it be more of a distraction?

70 comments:

  1. I'd love to work with a beautiful view... although it might be distracting.. it would be inspirational too... have a great Monday Stephanie :-)

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    1. I've found it mostly distracting. I have to force my attention back to what I'm doing constantly!

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  2. I'd like a view. One of a snow covered range of mountains. I couldn't work in an office as cluttered as some of those though.

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    1. I couldn't either. I can't stand to have things by my feet.

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  3. It's true that a place with a nice view must be really inspiring!

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    1. I always feel inspired when I'm in a scenic place...but I end up writing in a room without a view after being inspired.

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  4. I think it would be nice to be able to move around in the room - like one day you want the view for inspiration, another day it's too distracting so you sit facing the wall or a bookshelf.

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  5. I'd love that Laguna Beach view no matter what I was doing!

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  6. They sure have some nice views, the clutter in the other ones would annoy my ocd, so that would have to go lol

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    1. That clutter is just sheer craziness. Who lets it get that out of control?

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  7. I think a room with too nice a view would be a distraction but maybe you'd get used to it :)

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    1. I think over time you probably would.

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  8. I've been lucky enough to write from beautiful locations like Miami Beach. But since I'm a people watcher, I write from a place where I can only see the scenery in the distance, and not the people walking in the streets below. It helps me to feel like I'm living the writer's dream and not trapped in an office

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    1. That sounds VERY true! I remember being in a cabin in the mountains with full-length windows. I was sitting on the sofa writing in the mornings and I didn't feel distracted. It just made me feel as though things were very open. Being in a room with four walls and no windows can definitely induce feelings of claustrophobia after a while!

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  9. I don't even have a window in my office :(

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    1. I write on the sofa, surrounded by walls. There's a window, but it's covered with blinds! Right now my view is of a Christmas tree and all it does is remind me I need to take it down!

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  10. the view from the window next to me is onto my neighbour's nasty and dirty shed roof with parts of old vehicles sitting on top of it and a bunch of screeching parrots that the idiot keeps in the shed.... such a bliss for me :)

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    1. That actually sounds like that could inspire some good fiction if you were so inclined! Your mind could start wandering to what's in that shed...

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    2. you know, there are always some seriously strange activities down there, he likes to crack plastic bottles which he has a whole pile of ... he is doing that usually in extremely early hours of dawn... is he making plastic explosive? lol Will send my cat to investigate when the cat goes onto his regular duty of pooping in the idiot's yard :)

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  11. A view would definitely be nice. I think if I had a closed space or clutter it would drive me insane.

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    1. The clutter would definitely be annoying!

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  12. I love my studio - I do writing, painting and sewing on a monthly basis. My main desk faces the eastern window where the sun comes, up over the small forest behind my gazebo. It's lovely. I watch birds, chipmunks, squirrel, deer, and rabbits, traipse through the back yard. It's really inspiring. One large window 5 feet across and 4 feet tall. Two sets of curtains to help control lighting and thus the atmosphere. My favorite are the lace panels that allow all the colors to show through.

    I also use a 7 foot wooden table for sewing and painting - it sits perpendicular to the desk. There's a fireplace across from it making winter is cozier. The room is pine paneled with a built in bookcase and small desk, next to the fireplace. A nice sized closet houses supplies, as well as winter coats, gloves, hats, and scarves.

    I couldn't ask for anything more perfect than this(smile).

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    1. Sounds like you're living the dream!

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  13. I'll take the beautiful view. The ocean one works for me. I think if you're busy working on something the view wouldn't be a distraction. When it's time for a break that view would make me smile.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. The ocean would be great if not for the danger of hurricanes.

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  14. I'll take the beautiful view any day. and peace and quiet. One of my ultimate dreams is to have enough money to write in a hotel, like Carrie did on Sex and the City (when Aiden was getting on her nerves.) This way you don't even have to stop for meals (room service!) and no one can even talk to me.

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    1. Too funny, Beth! I remember this episode=)

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    2. I have heard of writers actually doing that on deadline.

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  15. Hi, Stephanie...

    I LOVE a view... My former office had a view of Lincoln Park and the north pond in Chicago. NOW, I have even a better view. I work on my dining table facing Lake Michigan, Lincoln Park, north pond, zoo, AND the Chicago Skyline! All from the 17th floor ceiling to floor windows surrounding the whole living space! It doesn't get better than this!

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  16. I have always loved writing with a view. Thankfully, I have a beautiful view outside of my dining room where I sit and write at the table. We live in the mountains of Northern NJ so the sky, trees and hills are very pretty.
    My favorite is writing on the beach. I wrote an entire children's book once, just sitting on the beach in the early mornings.

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    1. I didn't realize so many bloggers had such great views!

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  17. yeah, i've tried blogging outside under the oak tree and it's tough with the glare! i like your pup!

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    1. Thank you! She's a little princess!

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  18. I suspect that if I were a writer I would be distracted (and distracted and distracted) by a view. The birds outside our windows are already distraction enough...

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    1. Yes, birds can be very distracting, especially when they start chirping away!

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  19. I was thinking "distraction" before I even got to your last sentence.

    Funny... All those photos and I didn't see one typewriter. (ducks)

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  20. I suspect a room with a view would become a distraction, but I'd like to be near one so I could take a break. I think I better in a hovel!

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    1. I think I do too...or just a boring room!

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  21. I wouldn't mind a beach view

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    1. Just looking out at the beach makes me feel refreshed.

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  22. If you're used to the view, I don't think it would be distracting. Unless there was a lot going on outside, it would just be the usual scenery.

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    1. I wonder if that would just make it eventually like anything else--you wouldn't benefit from it any more than you would a plain wall...

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  23. I much prefer the beach view. You can always create a 5-inch perimeter made of cardboard to protect from glare. :D

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    1. I've heard that. They also say wear a black shirt to avoid a reflection off of what you're wearing.

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  24. Surrounded by books looks like heaven but I would be so distracted so I will take a room with a view:)

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    1. Books would just make you want to read!

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  25. There are some laptops that have anti-glare screens! My MacBook does - though Apple has apparently stopped offering that feature - and it helps so much. I can sit out in the driveway or on the balcony when we go to the shore for vacation. Speaking of writing with a view, that is my favorite. Nothing beats writing while looking at the ocean! :)

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    1. I haven't tried my new MacBook out there, but I know it doesn't have an anti-glare screen.

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  26. Best writing I've ever read was from people working in garrets and garages, kitchens and bedrooms stacked with books that gave onto the history and futurity of humankind. One might take notes for a poem at some bright vista but it will take years of perfecting in solitude before it is written up. My counsel is, don't worry about it.

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    1. That is an interesting thought on it! I don't think it really matters--it's just more enjoyable to write with a view!

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  27. I don't write like you do, but I am at a computer for 8 hours a day, I do like a little bit of a view to break up the monotony.

    Betty

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    1. I worked in a cubicle for the better part of 19 years, staring at fake walls. Anything's an improvement over that!

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  28. Some nice pictures. I'm not sure if I'd be distracted or not. Maybe at first.

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    1. I think so--at first. Over time, I think you get used to anything, even a beautiful view.

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  29. I've tried to write by our pool in the summer while the kids are swimming. It works for a little while, but I must say, I would love that beach view. Or a beautiful mountain view. But it would have to be a comfy chair or bed facing the window because I can't write at a desk...too uncomfortable. :)

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    1. I hate desks. I think that comes from working in an office for my entire adult life. Now I'm a recliner-worker!

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  30. I'd love to write with a beautiful view, though I've always seemed to focus best when I have a distraction-free, minimalist immediate environs.

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    1. I seem to do better without distractions too--if I had mountains in front of me right now, I'd have to zero in on my screen to concentrate anyway, so it probably would be wasted!

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  31. I'd love the beautiful view. Maybe because I don't have that now. My neighbors' back yards are nice, but don't quite compare to some of those other pictures you posted. :)

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    1. Yeah--our back yard is a view of a pond, but you can't see it from the office or the living room, which are the only two places you'd really want to write.

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  32. I work all over the place here at home. If I'm in the sun room, I have a great view of the backyard and our koi pond with the water falls. Other times, I'm just in the dining room. More recently, I've been working on the kitchen bar. Not very exotic, I know.

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    1. Sounds like working at the kitchen bar would take some balance, since usually those stools aren't quite so comfortable!

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  33. I tend to day dream a lot so a great view would be a distraction when I'm writing. I do have my desk in front of the living room window so I can see outside when I want to though.

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  34. Oh man, looking at those pictures, I have office envy:) We recently moved and are in the process of turning the sun room, and I use that term lightly, into a writer's cave. So far, I've got my desk, bookcases, treadmill, TV and recliner in it. Though, instead of an ocean the view is of the fenced in back yard. grin.

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  35. What a great question! I always think I want a view, but now that I think of it I might get distracted. So- maybe what I need is a nice view that can be closed off if I am not doing my work. :)

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  36. I'm a little suspicious of how clean all of these offices are! If I had one like Bloom's, those cute colourful little letters would go flying in no time.

    I've always dreamed of working on a porch with a view of the ocean. My laptop has a special anti-glare screen.

    Have you seen Chuck Wendig's writing shed? It is to die for. So pretty!

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