A Room Of One’s Own

December 11, 2008 | By | 2 Replies More

As a writer, I’ve discovered over the years that surroundings contribute.  I can’t begin to explain how, but the space you inhabit in which to create matters.  I rearranged my own office several times before I finally got it “right” to produce work.

So I thought it cool to discover this little piece on other Writers Rooms.  I’m not sure which room belongs to which writer, but I can almost guarantee you that what the writer writes can in no way be deduced from the environment.

I’ve read that Proust required a velvet-lined chamber in which to be properly creative.  James Michener worked in various places all over the world on a door laid atop two file cabinets.  Gene Wolfe stated in an interview that if there are bills to be paid, you can write in the back of a moving van.

But when you get to choose one place, one space…


Category: Art, Culture, photography, Writing

About the Author ()

Mark is a writer and musician living in the St. Louis area. He hit puberty at the peak of the Sixties and came of age just as it was all coming to a close with the end of the Vietnam War. He was annoyed when bellbottoms went out of style, but he got over it.

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Hi Mark

    You can see which room belongs to which writer by clicking the "show captions" link below right of the video. These photos and more, together with more info about each room, can be found on the Guardian's website:


    The 'Writers Rooms' series is one of the highlights of the Guardian's Saturday edition for me.

    …so what does *your* room look like?

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    <img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_do9TdSf84Gc/SUHZ2FV9dgI/AAAAAAAAAKQ/86c00m9wWas/s800/IMG_3948.JPG&quot; alt="Erich Vieth's Office" />

    Since an invitation has been issued, here's a photo of my office, which is located in the middle of my home, which is located in the middle of the City of St. Louis, Missouri. This is a space that is shared by my entire family during the day (I live with my wife Anne and two daughters, aged 8 and 10), but it's occupied almost entirely by me after 9 pm (Anne, who also writes a lot, writes mostly in her own office upstairs). My two daughters no longer ask "What's that?" when they peer over my shoulder–they just read whatever I'm reading or writing and freely offer commentary.

    If you look closely at this photo, you might see several pairs of reading glasses, too much stuff crammed into my in-box, some old-fashioned (paper) reference books, and a Rubik Cube (which my children and I are studying), but mostly dozens of half-read books and magazines. All of these tangible items are dwarfed in scale, though, by the contents of my hard drive. That drive contains unending "piles" of links, favorites, pdfs, images, videos and streams of half-baked ideas plus, and many ideas that have been ignored or should be. The scanner is a heavily used piece of equipment–if I didn't have it, the house would be a substantial fire hazard.

    When I have the chance to write at home, alone, during the daytime (this doesn't happen much), I make sure that I take time to look out the window every hour or so to appreciate our backyard, which is patrolled by Holly-the-Collie.

Leave a Reply