The Importance of a 'Blog Spot'

A writer friend of mine can work anywhere. In her garden. In her bed. In her living room, with the laptop perched on a copy of Christian Liaigre while Downton Abbey plays in the background. Even in a shack in the wilds of Wales. I don't know how she does it. She could probably write her books with a burlap bag over her head.

I'm not that talented. I can write in unfamiliar places if I'm forced to, and on deadline. (For example, at JFK airport in NY, with the laptop perched my lap and my legs perched, in turn, on the luggage: not recommended for more than four hours if you want to be able to walk again.) But I prefer to be in the hyggelig quiet of my office, with books on tap, piles of notepads and lists within reach, inspiration all around, and natural light flooding in on two sides.

This, dear readers, is my writing spot. It's also my blog spot. And my thinking spot. (And occasionally a dreaming spot!) It's a place to write, create, contemplate, conceptualise ideas and generally consider life. Virginia Woolf was so very right. Everybody needs a nook or cranny to call their own. It's so important to create your own private hideaway, whether it's a potting shed, an alcove under the stairs or simply a desk in a sunny corner of the bedroom. Without a place to retreat from the world, it can be difficult to think, let alone find the imagination to create.

Find your nook. Because if you don't, I can't tell you how difficult your writing life will be. For the last few months I've been working out of our downstairs library. But I was miserable. It was cold. Dark. Windowless. And uninspiring. I felt like I was in Guantanamo Bay. My productivity slowed to 10%. Over the past few days, I've been moving everything to a room upstairs. With light. Warmth. Views of trees. And doors out to a sunny terrace. I tell you, I feel as though I've escaped Guantanamo and gone to the Turks & Caicos Islands!

Now it doesn't take a lot of money to create a writing nook. Mine was cobbled together with a black  trestle table ($60), black-and-white striped fabric from Ikea ($6/m), two old chests of drawers that we painted black (free) and 'Do Not Disturb' signs from some of my favourite hotels tossed in a cheap black frame. The most expensive thing was my beloved Italian lamp. If you love books, put them in your sight line. desk. If you like photos, hang them around you in a kind of Happiness Gallery. And if you like to see the sun, the leaves and the changing light as it crosses the sky from morning to twilight, move your desk to a window.

I promise you. It will do you – and your writing – the world of good!

Here are some other inspiring work places. Hopefully you'll also be motivated to break out of Guantanamo and find/redecorate your own perfect writing space.

Danish designer Marlene Birger's desk at her home in Copenhagen. {Via Marlene Birger's book Life & Work}

And another lovely space from Marlene Birger...

Architect Robin Standefer's office, where he dreams up his magnificent interiors for the clients of his firm Roman & Williams. {Via Roman & Williams} 

India Hicks' study in her house on Harbour Island, in the Bahamas. This room was originally painted in David Hicks-inspired red, but when India's daughter came along she repainted it in shell pink, which also reflected the colour of nearby Pink Sands Beach. I love this writing room. {Via Garden & Gun}

Another gorgeous work space that shows how glamorous pink can be. {I've mislaid the credit for this so do let me know if you have it.}

This was an incredible workroom. Featured in Matchbook magazine, it was the office of a 'paper artist' who creates the most magical art from pages and books and other whimsical paper-based things. Truly enchanting. {Via Matchbook}

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