One of my favorite little coffee table book is Jill Krementz’s THE WRITER’S DESK, which is filled with photos of authors at work in their offices. It’s fascinating and reveals a lot about each author’s personality. John Updike wrote in his introduction:
I look at these photographs with a prurient interest, the way that I might look at the beds of notorious courtesans. Except that the beds would tell me less than the desks do. Here, the intimacy of the literary act is caught in flagrante delicto: at these desks characters are spawned, plots are spun, imaginative distances are spanned.
Today, novelist Brenda Coulter posted pictures on her blog of where she does her writing, so I thought I’d follow her example and share with you where I do mine. This is my home office. It overlooks our front yard and is adjacent to my daughter’s bedroom. What you don’t see in this picture are more bookshelves, a TV set/DVD/VCR set-up and a walk-in closet full of books, DVDs, CDs, videos and office supplies. There’s also the original artist’s painting for the unpublished, fourth .357 VIGILANTE book on my wall.
To avoid throwing out my back, I also do a lot of writing laying on top of my bed, using my laptop, with my legs elevated on a couch cushion.
I showed you mine so now you show me yours. Think of it as a photo "meme." All of you authors and screenwriters out there with blogs, please post pictures of your writing spaces…and provide linkbacks to this post so we can see them (or offer a link to those posts in the comments below).
44 thoughts on “Where We Write”
Jill Krementz is an awesomely talented photographer and a very fine writer to boot. Her books rock, start to finish. So does she.
I have a picture of me at my computer (writing) desk that is posted with all my blog entries: http://www.livejournal.com/users/lorrainel/
Over my desk are drawings of the characters in my first book: MURDER ON THE MIND. You can’t see them in this shot, because LiveJournal dictatates the (very small) size of the photo–but rest assured, they are there. Along with a cell of the Good Fairies from Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” and other drawings of characters in my (past) stories.
Getting Off My Ass
First off, I feel SO much better about all the nesting Ive done lately, especially when I see these pics of Jenny Crusies office and desk, heh, and realize how similar are/were our writing areas. Id post pictures of the new and i…
John Updike wrote the perfect intro for this terrific book, which makes a great gift. Krementz also has a desk calendar, which I look forward to it each year, using photos from the original 1996 book as well as new portraits.
Casual yet elegant photos that give a world of information.
Nice built-in bookshelves!
I also have a fascination for writers’ spaces. A couple of years ago, I asked bloggers who were visiting my site to send me photos of their writing space. I started putting all the photos together into a “bloggers’ spot projet” but gave up the project after I received too many photos. I kept the original projet online, here:
Author Jennifer Crusie’s office:
This is Megan Crane’s office. The best part is that you can see my blog, and this post, on her computer screen.
My wife is very into the whole feng shui thing, and I used to write with my back to the door. Apparently, that is very bad FS, and believe it or not, once I turned myself around, my writing career turned around.
Uh, not that your career needs turning.
I’ve heard the feng shui criticism about my office before. But I like looking out the window…and not looking out the door into the hall or out the other door into my daughter’s room (my office was originally a bedroom that shared a bath with another bedroom). And since my desk is a built in, there’s not much I can do to change that now.
(Jennifer Crusie’s office faces a window with her back to the door…and she’s done all right!).
When I write with my laptop on my bed, though, I am facing the door. And most of the offices I’ve had on shows, my desk has always faced the door. So does that counter-balance the bad feng shui at my desk?
This is where’ll you’ll find me
I agree with you, Lee, on the door vs. window thing. My back’s to a door, but it’s to the bathroom.
My office is in this post, along with the last of the fall colors outside my window.
Looking out the window as well. Nice digs Lee especially if it’s paid for.
I’ve heard that your bed shouldn’t make your feet face a door (feng shui wise), since dead people are carried out of rooms feet first. Like I needed another superstition….
So, maybe if you write on your bed on your laptop, you should hang your feet over the headboard? Just a thought.
I was going to write and give you the link, but you beat me to it! AND spied your blog in the picture! Cool!
I used a photo of my office instead of my mug shot in my amazon home page. i wouldn’t have done it if i were better looking. besides, this is what I look at, not what I look like.
No books visible but a hotos of Elvis before the Colonel got to him, a cartoon of Boyd and Lloyd from Horse Latitudes and pulp art.
Come on, Lee, how much cleaning did you do before you took that photo? My office is a dump. Books scattered all over the floor, dirty clothes, dirty dishes…
Can I hire your maid?
I can look out a window and I’m facing (somewhat) the door.
Here’s a blog post I did a while back with photos of my home office.
(You people with clean desks… I just don’t get it.)
Cool idea, Lee. I’ve posted mine.
Feng Shui dictates you don’t have your back to the door?
Aaaaahhhhhhhh oooohhhhhh I’m going to be spending the day rearranging the office. Damn the deadline!
Breathe, breathe, breathe – I’ll be OK. Panic has not fully set in. Breathe!
And that office is rather clean. Where is the writing debris? The creative detritus?
Here’s my newbie-writer-at-the-age-of-32 contribution:
This is making me rethink the whole back to the door thing.
Oh, crap! My back doesn’t face the door, just my right shoulder. Does that count? But my feet face the door in my bedroom. Crap, crap and more crap. Now I know what’s wrong with my writing.
Office space shared with his nibs.
Door and windows looking toward Bay to my right. Windows looking onto an immense old fig tree to my left. I’m a feng shui wannabe and would really need a feng shui master to come in and take a look at the layout.
First rule of feng shui is, though, if the office is a mess, it doesn’t matter where you’re facing, or not facing.
I love these photos! Keep them coming!
Could I resist? I could not resist:
Writing is a form of egotism that takes many shapes. Displaying one’s office is probably the most passive-aggressive. The writer can indulge himself by reveling in revealing his workspace’s most
Here’s my office
Oh my. I’m disgustingly envious of those bookshelves! *drools* I’ve always wanted built-in shelving for my books. 🙂 Great office! I’d post mine, but it’s in the middle of a move. Should be done by next month at the latest 🙂
Sara Donati’s office:
Lynn Viehl’s office:
You can almost tell who’s starving and who’s successful… almost.
Here’s mine. The Starving Mystery Writer.
Here, via Jennifer Crusie, is novelist Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ office:
Here is writer Marjorie Liu’s office:
Dude, that’s a very nice office. I love pictures of other people’s bookshelves, but I prefer it when I can read the titles. Hey, wait a minute – are your books all hardcovers? Whoa … respect.
Mine looks a lot like yours, R.J. Baker. Except I’ve a variety of pets lazing around on nearby chairs. We send them out periodically for dusting.
Novelist Bill Crider’s office:
m.g.- Your pets do dusting? How much do they charge?
Dusting? I’m single, are you suppose to dust?
m.g.- Your pets do dusting? How much do they charge?
They’ll work for peanuts, dog biscuits, cat treats, whatever you have lying around. Little Endust on the fur, and they’re good to go.
Here’s were I write!
There. I’ve gone and done it. I’ve taken a photo of the place where I experience all the pain and the ecstasy of the muse.
I would love to see a pic of Sarah W’s. Would it be chaos? Ordered mess? An OC dream?
It’s now almost the end of February but a writer friend of mine recently sent a link to your post about “Where we Write”. I’m a day late and a dollar short, so they say, and I’m not a published book writer…but I am a published poet and an incurable blog-a-holic. I especially loved Jennifer Crusie’s office area…my daughter is a writer-in-the-making and HER writing area makes Jennifer’s look like something out of “House Beautiful” magazine, haha! Here’s a link to my spot:
Here’s where one half of the writing team of PJ Parrish writes:
Seems like good decorating advice to me. Just remember to keep your home feng shui compliant.