The right space for writers

From cosy nooks tucked away in bustling cities to serene hideaways nestled in nature’s embrace, authors have long sought out perfect writing spots to unleash their creativity. In this article, we delve into the cherished writing sanctuaries of renowned authors.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou, the renowned poet and author, found solace and inspiration in the privacy of hotel rooms, often choosing them as her dedicated writing spaces. Even when she had a permanent residence, she would frequently rent hotel rooms, maintaining one in her hometown as of 2013. In these rooms, she would create a personalised environment by keeping the sheets unchanged and removing any artwork from the walls. The American memoirist had a specific routine: she would leave her home early in the morning, arriving at the hotel room around 6.30 a.m. While writing, she would often lie across the bed, with her elbow becoming calloused from the constant support. She never allowed the hotel staff to change the bedsheets since she used them solely for writing, not for sleeping. Angelou would continue writing until late morning or early afternoon before returning to her home. This unique practice allowed her to find the focus and inspiration needed to produce her remarkable literary works.

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie, the youngest of three children, received her education at home from her mother, who consistently encouraged her writing pursuits. Known for her classical detective stories, the English author did not have a dedicated writing room. Instead, she carried notebooks with her and would jot down plots, meticulously labelling each notebook. While there is speculation that Christie conceived many of her masterpieces while sitting in her large Victorian bathtub, eating apples, this detail is not confirmed. According to reports, she claimed that the plots for her books took shape and were refined during everyday activities such as washing dishes, bathing, eating, and walking. These ordinary moments provided fertile ground for her creative thoughts to unfold. Regardless of the precise locations or circumstances, Agatha Christie’s remarkable ability to craft intricate and captivating plots remains legendary.

E.B. White

E.B. White is renowned for his beloved book, Charlotte’s Web, which captured the hearts of readers with its endearing characters, Wilbur the pig born a ‘runt and the spider Charlotte. Interestingly, the American author did not seek out the quietest corner to write. Instead, he often chose to work in his living room amidst the bustling activities of everyday life. He embraced the constant movement around him, and his family members would carry on as if he were not even present. As White believed, “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau, the renowned American author and philosopher, had a deep connection with nature and sought solitude in his writing endeavours. His most famous work, Walden, was largely inspired by his time spent living in a small cabin near Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Thoreau’s writing spot of choice was within the confines of his humble cabin, from where he could enjoy the picturesque view of the pond and immerse himself in the serene natural surroundings. This setting allowed him to reflect on his observations, thoughts, and experiences, ultimately shaping the introspective and contemplative tone of his writing. He was also among the chief leaders of the Transcendental Movement in English literature (which lasted from about 1830 to 1860) that promoted self-education and the development of the individual. Transcendentalists strongly championed the idea that nature possesses a divine spirit that can help us connect to the rest of the world.

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens is widely recognised as one of the greatest authors in history. Throughout his illustrious writing career, the English novelist penned a collection of timeless novels that continue to capture readers hearts. Some of his most beloved works include Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol Nicholas Nickleby, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations. These books form an impressive resume of literary gems. To create these literary treasures, Dickens insisted on writing at his familiar desk and chair. He firmly believed that his best work flowed from the comfort of his cherished writing space. In fact, he held such a strong attachment to his desk and chair that he would have them shipped to him when he ventured away from home for extended periods. Today, these iconic items are put on display at the Charles Dickens Museum, located at the authors former home in London.

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