A Writing Space of One’s Own

Ideally we’d all enjoy Virginia Woolf’s proverbial room of one’s own, with a door to close to ensure uninterrupted writing time. However, for many of us, this just isn’t an option. But a lack of writing space should never keep you from writing. With a little determination and some creativity, you’ll always find some way to work.

If you can’t have an office, settle for a corner.

Set up a desk or table for your work in a corner of the quietest communal space in your home. It doesn’t have to be fancy — just a place you can sit and write. If you have roommates or family, find a time when everyone else is either asleep or away. That way you can be sure that no one will interrupt you, or provide you with excuses to quit writing.

Erect a visual boundary around your writing space.

People are less likely to interrupt you with questions or demands if they can’t see you. A screen or even a curtain or sheet hung from the ceiling can provide some privacy and eliminate visual distractions. Play music on a headset or use ear plugs to block out sounds.

Consider working in a cafe or restaurant.

You may find that you work best outside of the house. (This may be especially true if you have children.) Go in during off-times, after the lunch rush and before dinnertime. Tip well and be courteous, so that you are always welcome.

Rent a writing space.

If you can afford to rent a small office or studio, this is an excellent option. For some writers, having an office outside the house helps them take their work more seriously. After all, it’s like going to a job. This also ensures that distractions are left behind. Some cities also have writers’ rooms that rent space to writers.

Use the library.

It’s free; it’s mostly quiet (avoid the internet areas, where people tend to talk more); they let you linger until closing; and you can write surrounded by great literature. What more could you want?

Be creative about finding a writing space.

A lack of space should never be an excuse not to write. Carry a notebook with you and write whenever you get a spare moment — while waiting for an appointment, at a park on your lunch hour, even on public transportation. You’d be surprised how much you can get done writing a little at a time. You might even find that the constraints of your life inspire your work in surprising ways.

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