On Writing Rooms

I mean, what?

I just read something about writing rooms and it got me thinking about how ridiculous I think they are. I mean, if you’re making millions from your writing and you have a writing room, then who am I to criticize? But if you’re a nobody like me and constantly tweeting with #amwriting and you claim to have a writing room, then you’re just being ridiculous.

What, does it only have certain colors? Or maybe a big window? Or music from the writing station on SiriusXM? I would not be surprised if there were a real station. I mean, do you need a hundred different things to be right just to get some writing done? And I’m using the term ‘some writing’ pretty loosely here because people will tweet out that they just wrote for two hours and added 300 words. Welp.

I think the whole notion behind writing rooms is flat out dumb. If you need music, then play some. If you need your family to be away or asleep, then okay. But what do you need a room for when you’re writing 100 words an hour?

Ugh. People.

Do you have a writing room? Say no.

On this day in 2014 I published The Reader in Me.


39 thoughts on “On Writing Rooms

  1. I don’t even know what a “writing room” is. But I think part of the beauty of writing is that you can do it anywhere at any time. This sounds a little ridiculous and overboard. But then, what do I know, right? 😜


  2. Nope! Wish I did, I confess… but then, I live in a tiny, 30-foot RV with my husband, so we share our even tinier dinette table for our laptops. Take the average desk and divide it into thirds; about one of those thirds is my space. I love my hubby — we’ve been together twenty years — so when he comes across something interesting online, he likes to share it with me, and I like to listen. Then I readjust my focus to my novel or blog or whatever… A writing room might mean longer focus…. But then….

    A writing room would also mean I was in what we full-time RVers call a “sticks and bricks” house. It might have a window. But the view would be pretty much the same.

    Instead, at my small, shared table, the view out my window might be the Rocky Mountains one day and the Pacific Ocean the next…. the rainforests of Olympic National Park, or the elk roaming the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

    Because, after all, getting interrupted — with conversation or an amazing view — is what life and writing are all about. Without interruptions, what would we ever have to write about?

    Thanks for a great post, John! Love how you say it like it is!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Currently my computer is set in my basement-(old type monitor etc. about 9 years old) – the new computer just arrived and will be set up upstairs on the main floor- so my ‘writing’ room will change. But when I’m free writing, I grab the nearest comfy chair, pen and notebook- and will write 3 or 4 pages without moving.


  3. Hmmm, is a writing room like an office? I have an office. I suppose it could be called a writing room because it’s where I do a lot of writing and revision.
    And yes, it’s set up to be awesome.

    There’s a daybed because I love writing in bed, but this way I’m in my office and not the bedroom. So I lounge on the day bed propped up with a billion pillows and have my MacBook on my lap desk.
    Big window, bookshelves, there will be lots of art (still have to hang it). There’s a big glass desk with a 34″ ultra wide external monitor and speakers for pumping writing music and multitasking. So scrivener/research windows can be open side by side, etc.

    Soooo is that an office or a writing room? Is it the same thing? I don’t know, it’s not a term I’ve heard used before now. But it is my space, I don’t share it with my fiancé. So only writing stuff is done in it *shrug*.

    So what would you say I have?


      • Lol “yikes”? That’s an interesting response to a well designed office. It’s nice to have a private place tailor made for me, where I can go when I need it. It helps you get you get your work done. Especially when, like me, you’re books pay your bills and you need to put your head down and focus.


      • Is it? I’ll reply more appropriately then. “Oh my goodness. I want your space!” But that’d be a lie, so I didn’t say it. So your books pay your bills, but you can only focus in one room? Now that’s interesting.


      • Hahaha, no need to be disingenuous, we all like different things.
        And no, I’m not saying that I can only focus in one room. I’m saying that sometimes it’s great to have that room to focus in. If my fiancé is playing video games in the living room I have a quiet place to go and work.
        Also as I mentioned, my external monitor is huge so it lives in the office. So when I need to do photo editing on a big screen or have multiple programs open side by side, well that happens in my office.

        But yes, I also write in the bedroom, or on the couch, or in the cafe downstairs. Though the cafe is for those rare occasions when I keep getting super distracted by the Internet. They don’t have wifi so it means I have to just write, lol.


  4. Aren’t those called offices? I was sure they were. While I would love to have an office to have my own place to organize my books and writing material, I have a tendency to write on my laptop all over the house. I don’t like being confined to one area, no matter how comfortable.


  5. Another great post, John. My writing room is the dining table in the centre of my sister’s house, and I agree with Ellen about the joys of being interrupted. Until two months ago I had lived for so long on my own and my former writing room was the dining table in my own cottage. Maybe I’m not as productive now as I used to be, but it’s really great to have my sister or brother-in-law interrupting me and sharing something – a video on Facebook or a funny anecdote. Yup, that’s what life with your family is all about, and I’m grateful for it. I think in the long run the interactions with others make us better writers.


    • YES. Love this. Everyone talks about how internal and introverted writing is, bit it obviously doesn’t have to be. That’s what I took from your comment. Even if it wasn’t your exact intention.


  6. I have an office, and it’s immensely helpful to get away from distractions (aka my spouse and the TV. Even if it’s not something I’m watching, I can’t get anything done with it on. Call me ADHD, maybe.) My favorite place to write is honestly my bed, because that’s where I wrote for years and years when I was still living at home, but doing that screwed up my back. My chiropractor basically forbade it. He was like “get a desk and a desk chair and write there.”

    So, I try to abide by that for my health. And my desk is in my office, soooo….:P As for writing 300 words, that seems to be my productivity level whenever I try to write with distractions. My office is where I can focus and push out 2-3k if I want. Not sure why Twitter writers are bothering with an office if it doesn’t seem to help them at all.


  7. There actually is a station that’s “inspiration” called the loft on Sirius. I got my dad’s old work car so it still has XM in it and it was under favorites. Otherwise I never would’ve known this.


  8. I don’t. But when I was younger I wanted to have my own private library with a desk overlooking a window. ☺️

    Also, Roald Dahl had a really cozy and cute writing hut and maybe that’s why I wanted one, too.


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