Where Do You Write?

by | Apr 22, 2009 | The Writing Life | 445 comments

I asked a variation of this question in the early days on the blog, back in 2007 when it was written on a typewriter and sent around via telegraph. And, well, the immense variation in writing habits fascinates me, plus we have lots of new faces. So I thought I’d go back to this one:

Where do you write?

Not necessarily the city and state/country, although that would be nice too, but where specifically is your favorite writing spot?

445 Comments

  1. Shannon

    Personally I love writing in the dusty stacks of the University library. It’s such a nice place to curl up in with headphones. Dark and Musky, but I’ve written some good things there.

    Reply
  2. Andrew Carmichael

    usually I can write anywhere and everywhere, as long as I have a computer/paper and a pen.

    Reply
  3. abc

    I guess having twitter allows me to be the first!

    I write in bed. And in coffeeshops. I can’t write at a desk or get angry and uncomfortable. I like having noise around me but not tv noise (people noise, music noise).

    Reply
  4. abc

    whoops. not first. darn!

    Reply
  5. E.C.

    I write in my bedroom, just because that’s where my computer is. But I always keep a pen and paper on my person, so I’ve been known to write in the car, at lunch wit my mum, and during church services as well.

    Reply
  6. Janica

    I like writing at home on my couch with my laptop and a cup-o-joe. Don’t even have to get dressed! I couldn’t write outside or around people because I’m easily distracted.

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    At home and at work (when it’s slow) I find it harder to write at work, but I can edit like a madman there.

    Reply
  8. Maitland

    Anywhere there’s lots of light. Also, anywhere that’s moving (like trains and cars and such.) Public transport works as well for me, but usually just for thinking.

    Reply
  9. beckylevine

    These days–as I work on a nonfiction project, where I need my resources, I’ve mostly been writing at home. When we bought our house, there were two “office” spaces–out and below the house (closed in) in what had been a canning room, maybe? and the “dining room.” Husband wanted to be away from the main house! And who needs a dining room? So I get to write in a beautiful room with lots of bookshelves and the view of our wooded hilltop.

    Getting ready to write a fast first draft on a YA novel, with friends, and I’ll probably get out and meet them at the coffeehouse as often as possible, to keep the words flowing.

    Reply
  10. hasewal

    For whatever reason lately I’ve done my best work laying flat on my face in bed or sitting in the bathtub.

    Reply
  11. GS

    9 iron from the break. Water temp is still in the 50s though.

    But Mr. B, found your blog yesterday, and was fascinated by the people who gather here. I’d love to put together a series of questions like this. A social experiment. No names, all for fun…questions, opinions, on writing, free time, goals etc… This is a fascinating collection of synapses. (I’ve always enjoyed conducting experiments on humans)

    I used to be Editorial Director for AOL/TW, published a magazine, do contracting work now – What do you think? I’d host the whole thing and everyone can have the info if they want.

    em: crashbiggs@hotmail.com

    Reply
  12. Janica

    Although, I agree with E.C. I always carry a notebook just in case.

    Reply
  13. maltpress

    I write in a local coffee place. Home is too disruptive: it’s too easy to clean, tidy up, play with the cat, and get self-concious about my brother looking over my shoulder.

    I dread to think what I’ve spent (and done to my arteries) in the last nine months working on my novel though.

    Reply
  14. Ink

    It’s not about about your favourite spot, or the best spot. It’s about working with what you have. Life ain’t perfect, so you have to cope. And for a writer that means writing, and writing wherever you can get the words down.

    I write in my bookshop. Good things = being surrounded by books, lots of available resources, nice chair. Bad things = endless interruptions (also known as “customers”), further endless interruptions (books, internet, the slow and ghostly decomposition of the city of Windsor outside my window), and the smell of food (cafe in the lobby).

    A nice cabin overlooking a Norwegian fjord would be nice. But I don’t have that. So I just write. Just gotta get the words down and use what I have.

    My best,
    Bryan Russell

    Reply
  15. Andre Vienne

    At my desk, in my room, for the most part. However, if I’m feeling adventurous, or irritated with the roommates, I go down to the pub or my favorite local coffee place. Or my pizza place. They all have wireless internet, so they’ve become the best thing ever for writing.

    Of course, before I start going there more often, I’m going to need plastic wrap to jam my laptop into; I’m not about to risk spilling on the thing during a half-soused typing session.

    Reply
  16. Teresa D'Amario

    I vary my locations. When I get “Stuck” I know I need a new environment. I have an office, but rarely write there. I use my laptop in bed, in the living room, or in the local book store. I am not so good at writing in hotel rooms though.

    Reply
  17. Aaron

    Mostly at work sitting outside at the picnic table and with my iPod going.

    Reply
  18. Ben Crowder

    I can write pretty much anywhere with anything, but most of the time I write at home on my iMac. And my favorite place to write is outside on the grass with a slight breeze and lots of clouds in the sky, with a Moleskine and a nice pen in hand.

    Reply
  19. Bonnie

    I usually write fresh pages while I’m at my desk but I also move my laptop onto my lap in my bed and sometimes half listen to the baseball game in the background.
    When it comes to editing myself or rewriting, I like to print out the pages and sip coffee in a coffee shop, or sit in the library. Mini Peppermint Patties give me a good boost wherever I am.

    Reply
  20. Sam

    I write in my study, but when I’m out and about I always have a notebook with me. Yesterday I was writing at the printer counter waiting for business cards to be cut!

    Reply
  21. Mandajuice

    Yesterday I wrote a scene while at the salon getting a pedicure, so I guess my answer is ANYWHERE.

    But my favorite place to write is in the conference room of my husband’s law office on a Sunday. It’s eerily quiet and there’s no wifi to distract me.

    Reply
  22. Teri

    I usually write late at night after my family has gone to sleep. When all is quiet, I sit down at the kitchen table with my laptop and my fingers just fly over the keys.

    Reply
  23. hannah

    Either in bed or on my couch in the basement. Usually in front of the TV. I break the rules!

    Reply
  24. Liz

    Anywhere, everywhere. I always have a notebook on me. In a couple more months I’ll have an office in an old barn. It’s in the middle of the rainforest, so that should be good for the adventure novel!

    Reply
  25. David Russell Mosley

    Mostly, I write in one of three places. My study at my desk. My kitchen table (early in the morning). Or outside. Either way, it has to be dedicated during that time to writing.

    Reply
  26. The First Carol

    This will either make me sound completely odd, or terribly interesting. But I love the hospital. The new tower they built hosts state of art wi-fi, a three-sided glass fireplace, a tumbling rock fountain right outside the soaring 100 ft high windows, comfortable chairs, plugs in the floor, and if you’re a clod, free coffee from the surgery waiting room, or if more civic minded an espresso bar. I hope this wins me a prize! I would love to say, I got an award for being the most peculiar…

    Reply
  27. Skeptic

    I use laptop computers and flash drives. I prefer to be at my desk at home, but that doesn’t always happen.

    Reply
  28. Holly West

    I mostly write longhand on the couch in the living room, then go to my computer and type it in the same day. I have to get away from my computer to write otherwise I’m too distracted by the Internet (like right now).

    Reply
  29. Kate Levin

    I write on the train on my way to work and I write at Good Karma, perfect little coffee shop in my neighborhood.

    Reply
  30. Dara

    My study at home is where I like to write. Sometimes I will write while I have a little free time at work, but I prefer being at home, with my music playing.

    Reply
  31. Dan

    On the back of napkins at the bar!

    Reply
  32. joelle

    Mostly I write in my office at my desk. I can write in the living room, but then at the end of the day, I have no place to relax and I really feel like I need a work space and a chill space. I also need to be alone because I talk out loud to my book all the time! Too embarrassing in a cafe, even if I could concentrate there, and I probably couldn’t. During our (brief) summer, I write on the porch. I am going to build a treadmill desk like the writer Art Slade, except I’m going to use a manual treadmill because I found out how much energy an electric one uses and I’m too green for that!

    British Columbia, Canada

    Reply
  33. JoAnna

    I write in my home office, usually in the evenings, though I keep a pen and paper with me throughout the day to scribble down ideas and draft thoughts. I do better writing long hand outside of a structured setting first and editing as I type later.

    Reply
  34. Peter Stevens

    I love writing in coffee shops (and Panera), but basically anywhere that I can take my computer is a great place to write. I prefer the atmosphere of a coffee shop where I can blend in to the surroundings and still be around people and conversation, it provides just enough distraction to keep me from getting tired while I write.

    Reply
  35. Urraca

    I try to write in as many places I can, since free time is often limited for me. I am most productive when I write outside my home and I treat the writing as my job. Thusly, I write in coffee shops. I can throw on the iPod and get some serious work done. However, I have a favorite Chicago coffee house, Dollop. It may not be the fanciest one out there, but the coffee is top-notch, the staff is friendly and it inspires me to write. I wrote my first novel there, and thus a touch of nostalgia colors the walls of the place. Also, they have free wifi.

    Reply
  36. knight_tour

    I write at my computer in my den, though more and more lately it seems as if I write in my sleep – I keep waking up and having to write down ideas for changes or additions to my story.

    I’m currently writing from Hafnarfjordur, Iceland, though in the past few years I have written from Beijing, China; Zagreb, Croatia; and Moscow, Russia.

    Reply
  37. selestial-owg

    I can write just about anywhere – though moving vehicles is not fun for me. So far, my most productive writing usually happens on the couch in the family room, or at my desk in the kitchen, when the hubby is gone on business and the kids are in bed.

    Reply
  38. Gretchen

    You mean aside from at work? 😀 Mostly in bed, preferrably with some sort of sporting event on the telly.

    Reply
  39. Heather Harper

    I switch from longhand to typing frequently, so I write in my recliner, at my desk, in my car, at the bookstore, at Starbucks, in bed, the tub, or anywhere I can be comfy.

    I had abominable (HA, not really) abdominal surgery a year ago and am still tender, so I prefer the recliner. Physical discomfort is more distracting to me than noise. I can tune a lot out. Except my youngest son. TG for all day kindergarten. 😉

    Reply
  40. Sandra G.

    Writing for our local paper and my blog is done in our computer nook by the kitchen, as it’s the only place in the house with an internet connection.

    For all the rest of my writing I use my laptop – the best spot so far was last summer when we were camping – every morning before everyone else was up, I grabbed my laptop and a hot cuppa joe and headed down to the river to tap away as the water ran it’s course next to me.

    Now if I could only recreate the Kettle River in my backyard…

    Reply
  41. csmith

    See, this explains why I love etherpad (for those of you who don’t know it) http://www.etherpad.com (and I’m not in any way affiliated with it).

    I’ll write anywhere I can get a net connection to log in. Same interface – works for my slightly autistic brain.

    My primary locations at the moment are my study at home and my desk at work. I need my ergonomic keyboards else my wrists give me gyp, all the swimming in the world does not help them. strangely enough.

    Editing, editing hardcopy can be done wherever (which is why I’m about to buy a cat harness – spending weekend out in garden in the english countryside and want kitty out with me, but don’t want to have to ensure she does not bolt for the main road). All I require is light and an amazing collection of fine-tip coloured pens and highlighters. And a big black marker to blot out.

    Reply
  42. Cameron Chapman

    I can write anywhere. I write from my desk, or the couch. I write with music on, while watching TV, and sometimes with other people carrying on conversations in the same room. I’ve written some great stuff in the car. I can write pretty much anywhere I can take my laptop (or a notebook in a pinch).

    Reply
  43. Jean

    In my home “office” which has a huge picture window looking out over the front yard so the dog and cats can look in at me. I’ve gotten real good at tuning out the tv in the next room, the kids and all the other distractions.

    Also, I write the old fashioned way with paper and pen at the Sonic in town while son has piano lessons on Monday evenings.

    Reply
  44. R.J. Self

    I write mostly at home, I pefer to be outside on my deck watching my kids play, but I do enjoy being able to write in the car while I wait for school to be dismissed. But my creative juices flow best when the house is quiet at night, so that leads to me being blearly eyed at 6 am to get my kids up for school. Its a nasty circle.

    Reply
  45. Anonymous

    I enjoy writing in the safety of my home, or in a quiet class room with no one watching me. People watching me makes me nervous and I can’t write like that.

    Usually, I like to listen to music when I write. Mostly stuff I don’t know the words to/don’t know what they mean or music with no words whatsoever.

    Reply
  46. Marie

    I have my desk in my bedroom and I write on my laptop while listening to music. I can’t write anywhere else at the moment, though I always carry a notebook for any ideas.

    Reply
  47. Mandy Hubbard

    Mostly, on the train, commuting into work. It's 60 minutes a day, totally uninterrupted.

    Also, at whatever place I eat my lunch.

    Weekends are actually the WORST writing time for me because I dont have commutes and lunch breaks!

    Mandy
    Prada & Prejudice, June 2009

    Reply
  48. reader

    GS —
    I’m not Nathan, but I’m unsure what you are asking. Nathan already does put up these types of questions weekly, so he probably doesn’t need someone else to do it for him, if that’s what you were saying (if not, ignore me :))

    As for the question:

    I write in my car. Especially during the summer, I print out a section I’ve been working on and revise like mad while parked under a shade tree, sipping a Diet Coke from a drive-thru.

    Reply
  49. David

    Usually at my coffee table or sitting in bed. Preferably with baseball on.

    Baseball is great background for everything, and if you need a name for a random character, you just pluck one from a player’s jersey.

    Reply
  50. Laura

    I write in my bed curled over my laptop or hunched over my paper journal. And it’s got to stop. My back is killing me, so desk shopping I will go.

    Reply
  51. lindacassidylewis

    I type either in my office or in my comfy living room chair. But I write almost everywhere. I keep a small notebook with me at all times to jot dot story ideas, lines of dialogue, plot changes, etc.

    However, it seems I’m most inspired while in the shower or driving the freeway and have resorted to leaving memos on my cellphone and writing notes to myself with eyeliner pencil on the mirror at those moments of inspiration.

    Reply
  52. wranglerdani

    I write in my home office, facing an open window and drinking more coffee than I’m sure is healthy. 🙂

    Thanks again for your blog, I visit daily and find it helpful and awesomely funny.

    Reply
  53. Maya

    I love to write in front of an open window, especially here in Israel where the air smells like spring flowers and a hint of cayenne pepper…

    Reply
  54. Diana

    I scribble notes everywhere. My dresser is covered in wadded up pieces of paper with cryptic phrases like, “eagle tattoo Mozart” and “exploding beef sandwich” — ideas I wrote down because of something I saw or overheard and didn’t want to forget them.

    The real writing – the kind that involves my rear end in a chair for hours on end in front of a computer – happens in my little office, the only room upstairs under the roof of a 1929 bungalow in the middle of Kansas.

    Reply
  55. Anonymous

    I write at home between the hours of 10pm and 4am. And yes I love coffee and smoking.

    Reply
  56. tsrosenberg

    Very soon, thanks to cashing in a bazillion frequent flier miles, I will be writing in the business class cabin (and airline lounge, before the flights).

    I’ll post on my blog about how well this motivates me to write.

    I suspect it will be a tossup between “distracted by being asked whether I want a bowl of warmed nuts” and “goddammit, I have got to become Rich And Famous so I can do this more than once in my life”. 😀

    Reply
  57. Rick Daley

    I work from a home office, and I have two laptops, a personal one and my work laptop. I write in the morning with cup of hot coffee, and then turn my chair 90 degrees when it’s time to start work.

    I also like to write on airplanes when I am traveling for business.

    Reply
  58. Kat Harris

    I write in the office at my home. The lights are always turned off and my ears are always covered by gigantic can headphones, like the ones that were common in the ’70s.

    It’s a good way to escape into that other realm.

    Reply
  59. Darcie

    It’s easiest for me to write sitting somewhere in my bedroom, nice and quiet with either pen/paper or my laptop

    Reply
  60. SGF

    On my laptop, on my couch. My favorite thing to do is angle the couch or chair in my living room so I can see out the big living room windows and keep the trees and view in my peripheral. I like it quiet and I don’t want people talking to me while I’m writing.

    Sometimes I am gripped by the need to commit ideas to screen and so I have to do it while at work. My best, most passionate writing comes out of those short bursts.

    Reply
  61. quixotic

    Honestly, I do my best writing when I am hiding in my office with the door shut and my boss not paying attention.
    (shhhh don’t rat me out.)
    If I can’t write there, I have to wait until everyone in my house is asleep. I can’t concentrate when my munchkin and my hubby are around.

    Reply
  62. Martin Willoughby

    Om my PC…or in my armchair if I’m using pen and paper (fountain pen of course).

    But ALWAYS with a cup of tea next to me. An Englishman can’t write without one…or sometimes with one.

    Reply
  63. Mercy Loomis

    I do most of my writing in my home office on my laptop, which I repainted and decorated this year with that in mind. It’s attached to our library, but I keep most of my writing and reference books (and all of the roleplaying games, LOL) in the office.

    I would like to do my writing on my main computer, which is downstairs, but there are no doors on the computer room so my cat tends to drive me nuts. Plus it’s nice and quiet upstairs – my husband can play WoW or watch TV and it usually doesn’t bother me with the door closed.

    I’m easily distracted, so I prefer not to have music on, and I can’t write while other people are talking around me. On planes or in places like that I will put on classical music or instrumental jazz, but nothing with vocals. It takes longer to get focused, but I’ve done good work that way. Planes are really the only places that I tend to write longhand anymore – sometimes it’s just not worth the bother of getting the laptop out.

    I live in Wisconsin, and much of the year I like to sit on my comfy screened-in porch and write or edit. It’s more distracting than upstairs, but the fresh air is worth it. I let the cats come out with me and they are usually too busy with the sunbeams to bother me. I live in a fairly small town so even being on the busiest street, things are pretty quiet.

    Reply
  64. Scott

    Small to large:

    On a Powerbook G4 laptop, that I carry to work where I’m in the woods and back home where I’m by a beach that’s empty half the year, in the state of New Jersey, U.S.A.

    Mostly during the day.

    Mostly in silence.

    Reply
  65. Fresh Water Mermaids

    Fresh Water Mermaids said…

    When I am traveling, I write in journals. I also keep a dream journal and allow my ideas and imagination to play and daydream there too. A big black blank book, usually. I care about the pens too.
    Either flowing permanent ink arty black ones or black ball point.
    Pen in hand is also the way I write poetry or play with experimental writing.

    When I am working on a story or an article, I work directly on the computer as much as possible. I may have notes all around me while I work out plot points, character motivations, details that have to be returned to for consistency throughout a work, but I work on the computer. Usually, in my art studio. Sometimes on my couch or back porch.

    When I have been very lucky, I go to the ocean for a month at a time to write in the morning and walk all afternoon on the beach and think about my story every day.

    On writing trips, I can write on a computer in a cafe, but more commonly, on trips, I have my eyes open to the world and write notes in a purse journal and only turn on the computer when I am back at my lodging or home again.
    -Bobbi

    Reply
  66. Steena Holmes

    I do most of my writing in the evenings. I work a night shift at a dealership and tend to do most of my writing there. Once I get home and everyone is tucked in bed, I’ll spend a few hours on the couch with my laptop. I’ve tried to write during the day, but it just doesn’t work too well for me – so that’s when I do the majority of my editing.

    Reply
  67. jimnduncan

    Basically anywhere I can achieve a reasonable amount of non-distraction, i.e. when kids are in school or in bed, the tv is off, at the local coffee house, a library. They’re all good. I just need places where conversations are either not going on or are muted enough that I can’t make them out, because no matter what, my mind tends to focus in on people talking.

    Reply
  68. Karen

    We’ve kept my grandmother’s house in the family as a vacation place. It’s up on the Central Californian coast, overlooking the putting green of a golf course. It’s peaceful and quiet, and I love writing at the kitchen table, with the bay windows open and the clean air fresh with just a hint of ocean salt.

    Reply
  69. Cursing Mama

    I need a quiet space, with nobody or nothing to interrupt me; although I do manage to write pretty frequently during my lunch break at work (mostly blog related). My ideal spot is really a sunny day at the lake, with my laptop fully charged, and nobody looking over my shoulder.

    Reply
  70. jnantz

    iPod + computer + someplace stable (i.e. not the prow of a 16′ ski boat in high seas) and I’m good to go.

    Reply
  71. RW

    I did my first rewrite in the corner of a hotel room in Saigon with my laptop balanced on the meager furniture that came with the room.

    Reply
  72. Kat Mayo

    I USED to write at work, when I still had a job. Now I write anywhere I can get away from my cats.

    Reply
  73. Anonymous

    My first novel mostly at Einstein’s. With the second, I preferred Corner Bakery. Dips into Taco Cabana for both.

    And I write longhand.

    Really, really wish I could do it at home, on the machine. I’m trying. And off to do just that, right now.

    Reply
  74. Mark Terry

    On my 24-inch iMac in my office in my basement in my house in Oxford, Michigan, in the United States, North America, northern hemisphere, Earth, solar system, Milky Way Galaxy, hand of God…

    I’ve also written under duress and under the weather as well as under deadline and under pressure.

    And for those who wonder about time, prior to becoming a full-time freelance writer and novelist I wrote much of my published novel The Devil’s Pitchfork longhand during my lunch breaks when I worked at Henry Ford Hospital. I would write with pen on yellow legal pads and type them into the computer in the evenings when I had time.

    Reply
  75. StrugglingToMakeIt

    Wherever my laptop and I happen to be. And since I’m supposed to be studying when I do it most of the time, the top three places I’m most likely to be found writing are: 1) my room; 2) the library; 3) Starbucks.

    Reply
  76. Court

    At the kitchen table, on the livingroom couch, on the comfy couches in the foyer of a local university's language & lit department, at the library, at a friend's house, at a coffee shop.

    Occasionally, I'll write at my desk, but too often there's too much "business" stuff there, which hinders my tapping into imagination.

    Reply
  77. imagyst

    I write in my bed before I go to sleep, on the couch in the living room. I can write while I’m working box office or concession at the movie theater. If I’m at school, I’m usually I’m writing instead of taking notes. I also write in my car during my breaks (passenger seat with blaring music and locked doors.)

    Reply
  78. Teresa

    Every evening, I take my Dinky Dell (so named because it has only a Celeron processer) up to the second floor of my home. Perched on my bed with a Maine Coon mongrel named Macavity, I write dark tales. I also edit on my lunch hour, while waiting for doctor appointments, and on Sunday afternoons in my living room.

    Reply
  79. Susan Helene Gottfried

    Usually at home, either on this desktop in my office or with the laptop in front of the TV. But if I’m inspired, I can write anywhere.

    Reply
  80. Laura Martone

    I bring a notebook with me wherever I go, so technically I can be jotting notes anywhere (and, as a side note, my handwriting is so teeny, that my husband fears I’m a serial killer in waiting). But since I live in three different places throughout the year, where I actually write my fiction and articles depends on the region… probably my three favorite spots are the shady courtyard of Royal Blend, a coffee shop in the French Quarter; the moody Bourgeois Pig, an arty cafe in L.A.; and, when I’m wanting less inspiration from people and more from nature, the hammock that sits beside Big Bear Lake in northern Michigan. Guess no one place satisfies me completely!

    Reply
  81. Court

    Nathan, where do you blog?

    Reply
  82. Mira

    I do my best writing in my head.

    Often while I’m driving or getting ready to go to sleep, I’ll work out whole sections in my mind.

    Reply
  83. wlturland

    On the porch, after everyone in the neighborhood has gone to bed, is when I write. There’s just something about the comforting closeness of the darkness that makes committing words to paper seem so easy.

    Reply
  84. Margaret Yang

    Since the local Starbucks frowns on me showing up in my p.j.’s, unshowered, with bed head…I write at home. The coffee is better there, anyway.

    Reply
  85. V

    I write while driving, walking, exercising or any physical activity that leaves the creative part of my brain alone.

    I type up what I’ve written at home in my bedroom/office or at work on breaks or where ever I can find a reasonably quiet place without interruptions.

    Reply
  86. Nathan Bransford

    Court-

    Either at home on the couch or in my office at work.

    Reply
  87. adrcremer

    I’m with Mira. My mind creates scenes while driving or walking my dogs. I scribble dialogue in the notebook I always carry with me when a snippet of conversation or the way light skims over a leaf pushes me into a page of my own writing.

    I transfer those ideas to my laptop wherever I happen to be. I’ve been traveling a lot this spring so that’s often been wherever I can find an outlet at an airport – a much harder task at times when than it sounds. More than once I’ve been curled up next to an airport maintenance closet just to give my computer power so I can keep writing.

    Reply
  88. Anonymous

    Though we have two office spaces, I prefer to do my paid work there, and my so-far unpaid fiction-writing at the kitchen table, where sliding glass doors allow me to look now at some beautiful bright-yellow forsythia bushes against a big expanse of green grass, pines and maple trees, and blue sky.

    Our Yorkie sits on my lap and monitors my progress, leaping up periodically to go ear-shatteringly, menacingly bat-shit at any trespassers, e.g., squirrels, birds, the occasional neighborhood cat. I sometimes wonder how this affects my writing, not to mention my hearing.

    Reply
  89. Glynn

    I write — typing words to screen — in my home office. I write — in my head — pretty much everywhere, especially listening to music in the car.

    Reply
  90. LorelieLong

    Favorite place: On our screened in porch.

    Most common: break area of my day job. Ya fit it in where ya can.

    Reply
  91. Bria Teragram

    Generally I write in my bedroom on my overstuffed phone chair, which can fit two of me, because I like to sit crosslegged with my laptop resting on my knees (this is also my favorite spot to read). Not to mention, the table area is great for holding a pot of tea.

    On occasion I’ll go to a coffee shop, scribble notes in a notebook by my bed, or chill on the couch.

    I also like to grab a notebook and sit in a park and just describe the scenery and people I see (it also works great when staring out the window of a plane). Sometimes the park/plane sessions develop stories of their own or I use the imagery in my stories.

    Reply
  92. Eileen Wiedbrauk

    At my desk in front of a window. The desk is not important, the window is.

    Although I will have to try Shannon’s suggestion and hit the upper levels of the univ library here … so long as there’s a window. 🙂

    Reply
  93. Sharla

    On my laptop in bed in the evenings most of the time, but my husband and daughter then think I’m accessible and won’t leave me alone. The TV is usually screaming whatever gore hubby has come up with, and so I’ve learned to work with noise. But what I really love is to grab a pen and notebook and find a chair outside or even in my car and scribble away with no distraction. I’m more uninhibited writing longhand I think. I don’t block up like I sometimes do looking at a screen. When I’m typing, it all has to be just right and formatted right, when I’m writing, it’s chicken scratch and arrows and there are no rules.

    Sharla from Texas

    Reply
  94. Alison

    I write in a notebook while waiting to pick up my kids from school. At night I transfer it to the computer. It allows me to rework any problem areas.

    Reply
  95. Anna

    I have a long narrow table that sits in what’s supposed to be the dining room, but has instead been co-opted as the computer area. through the window I overlook our tiny and ragged back yard to my neighbor’s green house, past a rather ugly white fence that meets the shiny, recently stained new redwood fence, the cost of which our western neighbor told us we were splitting with him…

    the huge window allows this view, not so lovely that I’m distracted, but enough to see all the above, blue sky and power lines that meet at the pole on the other side of the yard, fortunately out of my view.

    where I park my hiney, unless there is a LOT of noise when family is home. then I retreat to the kitchen, or if reading aloud and not wanting to embarrass myself or said family, to the bedroom, door and window closed!

    my Silicon Valley writing home; more than you wanted to know perhaps, but I just finished work for the day and am still rather verbose!

    Reply
  96. Lori Erickson

    Fresh word count happens at my desk, which is crammed into one corner of our “dining room.” (Which also houses a pair of bookshelves and a dining room table that’s been covered with my son’s Heroscape setup since sometime last year.)

    Planning stage is a combination of kitchen table and computer–I do a lot of diagramming and index card shuffling, so I need more work space than a desk provides. But I use WriteWay, so once I have an outline, I plug it into the software before I start writing.

    Revision is also a combination of the two places, since I work back and forth from hard copy and red pen to typing into the ms. Sometimes I take a few loose pages with me to work on while waiting for kids after school. And I keep a steno pad in my purse at all times, just in case.

    Reply
  97. Gryph

    I either write at my main system, which is at my desk in the living room, or at the laptop in the bedroom office if the kids are being loud.

    Unless I’m plotting on paper. Then it’s wherever I’m sitting. I’ve built whole worlds sitting out front of an elementary school with my notebook propped on my knee.

    Reply
  98. Perle_Rare

    I’ll write anywhere I can bring my laptop to but most of my writing is done at home.

    I either sit at the kitchen table with said laptop, or on the couch. I think I’m more productive when I pick the kitchen table but I can’t write there if there’s other people in the house coming and going. I bet distracted too easily. 😀

    Reply
  99. Juli Page Morgan

    The actual typing on the laptop is done in the living room, in the chair that used to belong to my dad.

    But the writing goes on all the time — making the bed, putting on make-up, driving to the post office. The story is in my head pretty much all the time.

    Reply
  100. Vicky

    Greetings from Houston. I write at a very cluttered desk on a laptop. The isolation of writing is an issue because I'm an extrovert & lose energy quickly. My solution: iPOD. The biggest issue I have is forgetting the time. I typically don't get to sleep until after 1 AM.

    Reply
  101. sallyhanan

    I have a really cute office at the front of the house, and I can shut the door if the dog (or the teenagers) get too rowdy. It’s my little oasis of peace.

    Reply
  102. Christina

    Usually at my desktop in my basement.
    But when I can, I grab my hub’s laptop and escape into a seperate room of my house with two cozy high back chairs and lots of windows I can look out of when I’m trying to figure stuff out. Having some place to write other than the norm is the best way for me to break out of a place where I’m stuck. A breath of fresh air can do wonders.

    Reply
  103. Eric Rohr

    I write in a 2’x4′ hallway closet. We call it Office Closet. Real estate is expensive in California, so you make do with the space you’ve got. When I saw the wall outlet, I knew my Macbook and I would be quite happy, albeit snug, in that little closet previously occupied by brooms and bugs and boardgames.

    To make it work, I had to cut a hole in the top of the door and pop in a couple vents, attach a fan to the top shelf to circulate air and put in place a board to serve as a fixed desk (a real desk, you know, with legs and everything, would NOT fit in there, not even if it was a desk the size of a 2nd grader’s). I then painted the walls a nice Benjamin Moore Seattle Mist with white baseboard trim. A knock-off impressionist painting with a gold-flake frame hangs on the wall, just above my laptop; above that, a bookshelf with my favorites on it. My writing partners (two Shih Tzus) sit, mostly calmly, on a rug behind me and just inches away from the menacing wheels of my teeny-tiny IKEA office chair. Because, really, if you’re going to write in a closet, best to do it like you mean it.

    Reply
  104. Jo

    I have a laptop in my bedroom so ideally I can just stagger out of bed and have at it, or wake with a thought of genius in the middle of the night and start typing, but in reality I need a thermos of coffee to even get going and the location was decided because my toddler lets me get more done if she’s in the next room watching Baby Einstein.
    I always carry a pen and notebook with me to capture those idle thoughts which often solve plot problems and I dream someday of being able to go on one of those writer’s retreats with no interruption but the dawn chorus.

    Reply
  105. Professor Tarr

    I conceptualize during my 40 minute commute to and from work everyday. I tried to talk into a handheld recorder for a time, but that just was too clunky for me. By really thinking it out without paper or pen, I am ready to pop it out later when I am able to write.

    I tend to write a lot in early mornings or late at night. Usually on computer. I then am kind of obsessive about printing out hard copies and then using those as my mark-ups. I leave big gaps to fill in my narrative and I fill those in, along with edits and everything else in longhand on those copies. When I type that back in, I will edit again as I type and typically go much further in each session.

    If I am working on a new chapter, I take a composition book with me when I go, and scribble my thoughts in there for new stuff.

    My ideal place to write physically is somewhere high over looking somewhere low… typically porches looking down hills, top stories of houses with lots of light, lofts, trees, whathaveyou. Put it in my beloved Colorado or Mt. Meru, Tanzania and I’m all over it.

    But for now, I’m Kewaskum, Wisconsin.

    Reply
  106. Scott

    The writing environment doesn’t matter that much to me. My frame of mind is more important. If it’s good, I can write anywhere, anytime. If it’s not, typing becomes like swinging a sledgehammer.

    Reply
  107. That Writer Chic...

    Hello Nathan !

    Well, since you asked. Solitude, I have to have solitude in order to write. Usually, something will inspire me and I have to head straight for my pencil and paper, or keyboard. But the most cherished place that I’ve ever written was in the living room of a terminally ill patient.
    I spent eight hours a day with her. And her living room overlooked a beautiful harbor.
    Now where else could you find
    such inspiration ?

    Reply
  108. Laura D

    I’m a couch potato writer too. Sitting at a desk has always made me feel like it’s work. Plus, I need to get up and pace,so I need the room my basement provides. I love having background noise so I don’t feel like I’m in a space void. The tv or radio works for me.

    Reply
  109. Rabid Fox

    I’m all about having a comfort level when I’m writing. I can sit at my computer desk and bang away at my keyboard all day, but my swivel chair is uncomfortable beyond belief–my kingdom for a pristine manager’s chair with back support the whole day through. When writing with pen and paper, I stick to my grandfather’s old recliner. I’m not sure how it’s held together after all these years, but it does.

    Reply
  110. Xiexie

    I like to write in coffeeshops and on my desktop in my room. I once used a laptop when that was my only computer, but I can’t stand typing on that flat surface for long periods of time.

    I usually write longhand first so writing truly for me can occur anywhere.

    Reply
  111. ella144

    I usually write in bed, late at night, with either my laptop or pen and paper.

    My preferred spot is either on my deck or at my kitchen table with the view of my backyard though the glass doors. I love the natural light and the peaceful setting.

    However I can write anywhere as long as no one is talking directly to me and there is no television playing.

    Reply
  112. kaajalt

    In a small corner in my bedroom.

    Reply
  113. Claudette

    When I lived in the Caribbean, my work space was in my bedroom. I had my desk-top computer set up facing the windows, and could gaze out at the most amazing view when thinking. I’m back in the states now, and don’t seem to produce as much without that inspirational beauty. I can however, write anywhere … even with the television on.

    Reply
  114. Walter

    Any place I’m struck by the urge. But my favorite would be sitting on the couch with my dog in front, computer on the coffe table right next to some coffee.

    Reply
  115. stephanie

    Mira – Yes. This. Then I suppose I do it ala Teri @ 8:46.

    Sooki Scott, I do envy you your geographic location.

    Reply
  116. Jennifer

    I have a computer room and I write in there. The door has to be closed. Above the computer I tape encouraging notes from friends for when I start to panic and beside me I keep a copy of “Bird by Bird” for the same reason.

    I also agree with Maitland. I find moving trains and buses perfect for coming up with ideas.

    Reply
  117. Calenhíril

    I like writing in bed. Although sometimes that leads to sleepwriting, which is always fun to decipher.

    If I had a clean desk, I’d write there too. Guess I should get on that.

    Reply
  118. Bane of Anubis

    Currently in bed, surrounded by Mouko and Anubis. Usually there or couch. Not big on offices/desktop writing.

    Reply
  119. Sandra

    I currently do most of my writing at my desk at work on my lunch hour. I bring in my own laptop. As a working parent, I have fewer distractions at work than I do at home.

    Reply
  120. Mary Caffrey

    I write mostly in the computer room in my house. There’s a window overlooking the front yard here, that is open to catch spring breezes.

    While I type on this keyboard, my white bird works on a metal chain attached to its perch. Every so often, I throw him an almond. Later, Sam and I will go out to get the mail.

    There are plenty of diversions here, if needed. This room also doubles as a music room, so sometimes I play old jazz during writing breaks.

    Then again, the kitchen isn’t far away, for drinks and snacks.

    Can you tell I am procrastinating the last chapter of my first novel? It’s a humorous fantasy/mystery book. I wag 10 pages to go.

    Reply
  121. Furious D

    I have a desk with my computer on it in a corner of my bedroom that acts as my “office.” So I pretty much write as much as I can, and when I’m not writing at my desk, like watching TV or something like that, I have a notebook with me for scribbling down ideas.

    Reply
  122. morphine-moniza

    I just need somewhere quiet and a computer. It helps if it’s not a public space because I occassionally need to walk around and talk to myself.

    Reply
  123. Lisa

    For most of my writing process, I prefer to use my desktop computer (iMac) — in total silence — in my basement office. It’s a great place to focus and get down to business.

    If I need/want to write late into the evening, I switch to my laptop and camp out on the guest room bed (when I need to ensure solitude), on the family room couch with the TV on in the background (if my husband has gone to bed and I just need to do some polishing), or the rocking chair in the living room (if I’m simply noodling and can handle distractions from the household).

    Sometimes, if I’m restless and distracted at home during the day, I’ll take the laptop to the library or a coffee shop for a nice change of scenery.

    Reply
  124. Charlene

    Right now I write on my computer at my desk, but I’m thinking of switching back to notebooks since I can take them anywhere.

    When I get the chance to, I like to sit and write on the bed with my back against the wall and the sunlight from the window keeping my pages readable, it helps somehow.

    Reply
  125. Marybeth

    USUALLY I’m sitting here at my computer, in my dusty kitchen chair. It’s an upgrade from the old wicker stool though, less pain in my back at the end of the day. When my laptop was still intact I would write in my bed, all cozied up under my blankets. I got a ton more done before the dear hubby broke it!

    Reply
  126. Cara

    I write on my living room floor. I like to be able to see everything that goes into my story, so I have notes and outlines and character profiles all spread out around me. Then I stack up my writing books and reference materials alongside my laptop and get to work. It looks ridiculous, but it works for me.

    Reply
  127. morphine-moniza

    Oh and there’s a painting of Jane Austen over my work desk. I painted it myself.

    She watches over me while I write and protects me from bad grammar, cliches and misuse of adverbs.

    Reply
  128. Captain Hook

    I have found that I caan write anywhere. Even in my car where I live for a time.

    If writing is what you do, what you have to do, you can do it anywhere.

    Reply
  129. Anonymous

    I “write” while I’m driving or taking a long walk. By the time I reach my computer, I’m ready to go.

    I live in South Dakota where the roads are long and open (and fairly empty). I find is easier to refresh my creativity this way.

    I “type” on my computer in the kitchen.

    A few weeks in March I was snowed in. That’s when the fun really begins.

    See what you’re missing city bloggers? Who needs a coffee shop when quiet is all around you?

    Reply
  130. Anonymous

    i like writing in my bedroom, at the desk, with the door closed, my phone off, the blinds drawn, maybe some music, depending on what i’m working on…sometimes it’s more atmospheric to write late at night

    Reply
  131. romoak

    I write where ever I am. I bought a Neo Alphasmart a few years ago just before Nano (discount) and I take it with me, and a notebook, and notecards no matter where I go. My kids always know, there’s mom with her ‘book’ bag.

    Now, my most productive is I run to sonic, get a latte and can sit in my car with the wind blowing through my open windows and write for hours. At home, with all the kids needing me, it’s not so productive.

    Reply
  132. Dennis

    Almost always at the computer in the 9’x8′ room in my house that passes for my study — preferably with some ambient electronic music in the background.

    Reply
  133. Drew

    I write at a dirty table in a noisy crowded biker bar just across the road from my house. Believe it or not, it helps me concentrate.

    Reply
  134. Sarah

    Barnes and Noble cafe. It’s great for people watching when I need a break. And since they don’t have free Wi-fi, I can’t procrastinate by looking around the internet.

    I’d love to say I write lots at my apartment- but it’s easy to get distracted.

    Reply
  135. Ken

    Home office, before the sky starts to lighten. Sometimes the desk, sometimes the couch, always the iPod, always the laptop. Plenty of strong tea.

    Go like that until the wife, daughter, and hounds start to stir.

    Reply
  136. Elaine

    I take my Alphasmart Dana to a local cafe, coffeehouse or cozy spot and write. At night, I transfer the info over.

    I edit the info in my office area at home, but to write I need to be away from the normal home environment 🙂

    Elaine

    Reply
  137. Elaine 'still writing' Smith

    We have two ‘studies’ – big and little – with three of us fighting over them. I miss out on the peak times, but have earned the reputation of being sneaky – is it my fault they leave the computer or laptop unguarded?!
    The 11pm to 2am period is usually free!
    I ‘write’ on paper only on sufferance – we call that Sunday.
    But, I have two planning books and endless numbers of notebooks for taking to inappropriate places.

    Reply
  138. kg

    My favorite spot (when I can afford $80/month): The writing studios at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. A room barely larger than a closet, with a window, desk, desk chair and rocking (reading) chair, blank walls, a weak-to-nonexistent wifi connection…in other words: No distractions. And just outside those walls, writing classes are happening, the center for book arts is doing wonderful papery things downstairs, readings are happening in the performance hall, and the whole building is full of creative writerly energy.

    Reply
  139. Patrick

    I write in my office, where it is noise and distraction free. I don’t like noise when I write because I want to concentrate on writing not what’s happening around me.

    Reply
  140. Casey McGill

    There’s a park not far from my school where I get my best story ideas but as for the actual writing…the giant love seat and ottoman in the middle of my living room is my writing space. There’s plenty of space to spread out my notes.

    Reply
  141. K.S. Clay

    My favorite place to write? Outside. I like to sit outside on the backyard patio and write on my Alphasmart Dana. It feels calmer outside. Other than that, I tend to write in my room usually sitting on the bed. My least favorite place? Sitting in front of my desktop computer. It works great for editing and revision but not for rough drafts. For rough drafts I’d even rather sit at the kitchen counter than the desk (and have).

    Reply
  142. Tree

    Streetcar ride to and from work. Many days, that’s the only “me” time I get …

    Reply
  143. Mike J

    I write on a 36 foot sailboat. Currently we are docked in Ft. Lauderdale but I spent some time moored in Key West and docked in Mobile Alabama. Next year I hope to write at anchor in the Bahamas.

    Reply
  144. Becky

    Strangely enough, when I look back at pages, I can often tell where I was when I wrote them. If I’m too wordy, I was probably in front of the TV. Too descriptive, I was probably in a hoity-toity coffee shop somewhere. My best writing tends to happen on a basement window seat after the rugrat is asleep.

    Reply
  145. Brent Billy Curtis

    I find that I can only write at coffeeshops with lots of background noise and humming, buzzing energy. I like it best when they are cranking up some music, but I’ll put on my headphones if I don’t like their musical selections or I get sucked in to a nearby conversation.

    My favorite place to edit is on the bus, though I can also get lots done at home and at work (don’t tell the boss or the taxpayer for that matter, ’cause I work for the government)

    Reply
  146. WindyA

    Honestly, anywhere. My preference in curled up on the couch or on my bed, computer on my lap, cup of tea nearby. But I keep a pen and notebook with me at all times so whenever inspiration strikes, I can jot it down.

    Reply
  147. Anonymous

    I write the actual prose at my desk at home, but because I live 60 miles from work and drive 2+ hours a day, the more interesting answer is: while driving. I tape the current page of my outline to the dash, put on a ridiculous headset complete with boom microphone, and do all the staring out the window that is both time-consuming and necessary to fiction. I dictate the results into a digital voice recorder, and transcribe them later using a speech-to-text program. It makes writing at the desk go faster.

    What can I say, I love efficiency…

    Amy

    Reply
  148. Scott

    It all depends on the day (or night) of the week. Sometimes, I like to be in my office. Other times, I sit at the kitchen table and write away so the boyz (cocker spaniels) can see me and won’t whine. On really nice days, I’ve even been known to write outside. Oh, then there are the times I sit on the couch and write.

    I really don’t have a favorite place to write. I just write.

    Reply
  149. Critinka

    For some odd reason, I do my best work when I’m tuning out noise. At home I usually turn the TV on. The muted chatter at Starbucks will work in a pinch, but my favorite place to write is across the city at my sister’s house. Her basement, the rec floor, has the most comfortable chair-and-a-half to curl up in, a stellar view of the valley, and 7 perfect little noisemakers. (Or, you know, hooligans, savages, wild things, kids…pick a term, any term.) If I’m ever published, I’ll have to dedicate my labors to, say, my niece’s painful mastering of the Hannah Montana Wii game or my nephew’s hugely impressive war cry…

    Reply
  150. Dawn

    My laptop on a TV tray and my behind in a wingback chair in my room. I “think” of ideas when I’m drifting off to sleep or just waking up. I never listen to music while I’m writing, but I do get ideas when certain songs are playing.

    Reply
  151. Fiona Young-Brown

    It depends a lot on what I’m writing. Encyclopedia entries – at my desk so I can have instant web access. Editing or magazine articles – upstairs on the laptop where I’m not distracted by email. Fiction – anywhere but I write it longhand on legal pads.

    Reply
  152. Belynda

    My absolute favorite (and this goes for reading as well) is in my living room in the wee hours of the morning. We have a loft, so I throw all the windows open and enjoy the breeze and the night noises. It’s especially nice during those blustery New England rainstorms in the spring and summer.

    My dream writing room is an all-season porch with big, screened windows for warm weather.

    Reply
  153. Marilyn Peake

    Wow, lot of discussion happened on this blog after I signed off my computer last night. Gotta catch up reading what looks like an interesting discussion, but answering today’s question will be quicker. Looks like I’m going to finish writing the first draft of my new novel today. Just in the nick of time, apparently – I’m falling seriously behind in my blog and Twitter reading.

    I write in a small office in my home. A few years ago, I invested in a large L-shaped set of desks with shelves, and bookshelves that line the walls. When I start writing a new project, there’s floor space and lots of room on my two desks. By the time I complete a novel, the only open floor space is a narrow path from desk to door, the floor’s covered with books, papers and boxes, and stacks of books wobble precariously on the desk next to my computer desk. And dust coats everything like magic pixie dust.

    Reply
  154. JMK

    For me its not so much where, but when. For about 10 years of my life I worked for one of the most creative and organized persons in the music business, Henry Mancini. Mancine wrote every morning, every day, whether on assignment or not. He wrote, the rest of the day he took care of business, recorded, arranged or planned trips. But each and every day of the week for about 3 hours he wrote. I try to do the same. I write each morning for three hours…I love it, its so relaxing. I edit or promote the rest of the day…

    Reply
  155. PurpleClover

    I have two toddlers so I have to wait until everyone is sound asleep.

    Then when all is good and right I write in a HUGE comfy chair with ottoman. I open my laptop on my legs with a blanket and various snacks sitting on the arm (which are level with my ears no lie). It’s a sinkable chair.

    Then I turn on the tv on low to something very boring just for background noise.

    When my daughter is too scared to go to sleep alone, I drag my laptop in bed propped up on pillows, various snacks on the nightstand, and cartoons playing on low so she can watch tv while I type.

    Not much deviation there. =)

    Soon I’ll be moving to a condo overlooking a lake and I hope to use that as a backdrop! It’s no Pacific but it’ll do!

    Reply
  156. Heather

    So cliche… but I do my best writing at any coffee house that doesn't have wifi (or one that requires you to sign-in to use it).

    Locally, I've been seen at Starbucks, Moxi Java, B&N Starbucks, and Borders Seattle's Best. Always by an outlet, and most of the time by a window.

    My favorite place is at a small Starbucks where they have a cool setup with mini booths and a wall that separates seating from the counter traffic. I curl up in the booth with a giant mug of toffee nut soy latte, put in my headphones, and write until closing.

    We have on 24-hours SB, but it's loud in there and there aren't any cool booths to hide in.

    Reply
  157. Ian

    I write in my head. I enter the world of my novel, which is set in Mongolia, and become oblivious to all aound me. I cam write as I walk, sit or even when there are other people in the room. I create the sentences, paragraphs and pages, usually up to 1,000 words at a time, and then when it’s finished just go through the mechanical process of typing it in my office, but by then the writing has already taken place.

    Reply
  158. Terese

    Writing Place #1For two hours a day, five days a week, I write in my car. I cannot help but think of the next scenario(s). To be more specific, I commute to work, one hour each way. It’s then my mind leaves Real Life Suburbs and journeys with my story’s characters. I see them engage with each other, listen in on their conversations and sometimes thoughts, and I replay events for them. Indeed I have walked through my office door with tears in my eyes, having just “experienced” a heartbreaking event with one of my characters. (Okay, now I’ve embarrassed myself.) Of course I quickly dash off notes so that I can type out my scenarios later.

    Writing Place #2Typing out the scenarios is done either when I’m in bed by myself or on my living room couch when I’m by myself (the family spends time in the family room).

    Reply
  159. Lunatic

    Mostly, I get it lined up in my head during my commute, then sit down and type it in my study at home, prefferably with the dogs snoring in the background. (Not sure why that helps)

    Fred

    Reply
  160. PurpleClover

    Nathan – if you want to know where Mira writes…just look out your office window.

    (I’m sorry Mira – I just had to)

    Sorry Nathan, no more encouragement from me I promise.

    Reply
  161. Cecilia

    I mostly write in my conservatory (in a suburb of Edinburgh, near the Zoo) with a view out over my garden which at the moment is a mass of yellow, orange and red wallflowers, and at night a view of the stars above me.
    I have also written in Starbucks, Princes Street (view of Edinburgh Castle) and I’ve occasionally drafted notes on a bus or a train, or edited at work (gallery of modern art, view out over sculptures).

    Reply
  162. Samuel

    I need a room of one’s own: a closed door and drawn curtain and no natural light.

    I am in awe of people who can write in public.

    Reply
  163. EMC07

    I like to write in my recliner. It’s usually late, about 10:30-11:00 at night. I have my macbook on my lap, Family Guy on in the background and headphones on. That’s all in between checking on the puppy with a large tabby sprawled across the keyboard.

    I can’t imagine why I’m not getting more done?

    Reply
  164. PurpleClover

    Samuel – me too! I have tried writing in public but I feel like everyone can see what I’m typing through the back of the screen!

    Sometimes my hubby will peek over my shoulder and it makes me cringe. So that is why everyone must be sleeping. lol.

    Reply
  165. ~Jamie

    Panera. Headphones block out the world, and they have tasty treats!

    Reply
  166. Alan Orloff

    I write in my head, in my bed (I guess Dr. Seuss was a big influence), when I wake up too early in the morning. Then I struggle to remember everything when I finally get out of bed and trudge down the hall to my office (and computer).

    Reply
  167. Douglas L. Perry

    At lunch, at the Carl’s Jr. that’s within walking distance. I don’t eat there(bleh), just write.

    I put on headphones, people watch, and let the words flow out of the pen onto the paper.

    Reply
  168. Nancy Coffelt

    I definitely write in my head almost all the time when I’m supposed to be doing something else like making dinner, mowing the lawn – even driving – eek. For some reason those sort of tasks free up the creative center in my brain. Then I go up to my studio and type out what my mind has already “written”.

    It’s the same with my artwork. I see the final pictures in my head and then just copy those images down on paper.

    Reply
  169. Natalie N.

    I used to write a lot at work, when I didn’t have as much work to do. But now I bring my 5 month old baby to work with me and between her and actual work, I don’t have time. I try to write at home (usually in front of the TV not at my desk) but the baby will cry and I’ll have to tend to her or some other life activity gets in the way.

    I guess I don’t really have a favoirte spot to write, I avoid all spots equally when I don’t want to write, but I do my best writing when I’m sitting at a desk with no distractions (baby, TV, work, etc). Now if I could just find the time to get there again I might be able to finish my novel!

    Reply
  170. TERI REES WANG

    I have two small rooms on at either end of a long skinny kitchen. One is supposed to be the “breakfast” room but, instead has a bench and a coffee table which is where the paper reading and writing can happen.
    The second is supposed to be the “Dining” room but, instead houses desk, high back chair, and a lamp.
    I graze between the two, literally and figuratively feeding off the words.

    Reply
  171. Robert A Meacham

    I write in my office with the french doors closed.I might have coffee or cherry flavored brandy readily available. Sometimes I write with my fav. music playing, depending on the genre.

    Reply
  172. Julie Weathers

    My deskNormally, my desk. It’s a signal to my brain to sit down and get to work, hence the No Parking Sign. I like having my reference books and the cd player nearby.

    However, I can pretty much write anywhere. At the writer’s retreat I just plopped down at a table with the laptop regardless of what else was going on.

    I used to write everything longhand and then clean it up when I put it on computer. My editor at Speedhorse told me I had to learn to compose on a computer and eliminate that step. Some of the best advice I’ve ever received.

    Ideally, my writing haven would be out in the country 15 miles from the nearest neighbor and ten miles off the highway.

    Reply
  173. :)Ash

    Cemeteries are my favorite places to write. I just find them to be very inspiring. There is so much history at a cemetery. I’ve also found that tombstones are a great place to find character names.

    I usually write at home, though.

    Reply
  174. Stephanie Faris

    My living room sofa. Is that unimaginative? But I do take my pen and paper with me everywhere. I work in tech support so if I’m sitting at a user’s PC waiting for software to load, I’ll write while sitting there. Without writing, I’d be bored senseless most of the day!

    Reply
  175. Polenth

    I write in the sitting room, because my computer is a desktop computer. I actually hate writing there. Family disturb me frequently and watch television. I also have to sit on a chair, which I find uncomfortable.

    My ideal writing place would be my own room, with space for my pets. I’d like having them there while I was writing. I’d also set the computer low to the ground, so I could sit on the floor. That’s only a daydream though… right now, I just have to do the best I can with what I have.

    Reply
  176. Tiffany

    It varies for me. I keep a notebook handy so whenever I am hit with a creative burst I can jot it down. But at home mostly on the recliner downstairs in the living room or upstairs in my rocking chair. Occasionally I will write on the computer in the office but my hubby keeps that desk to cluttered for my liking.

    Reply
  177. Kathleen McDade

    I prefer a coffee shop, and enjoy having other people I know around (to work, not, for the most part, to chat). I don’t get to do that as often as I’d like, though.

    Reply
  178. Rubenesque Writer

    Not too long ago, my husband put a beautiful pine desk in our bedroom for me. It’s in a niche in the corner of our room, and I’ve hung a few corkboards around the desk area and decorated them with quotes I like, awards I’ve won, business cards I’ve collected, and pictures that inspire me. I write best there, with my earphones on, blasting the iTunes. I created a special iTunes folder just for when I write, no slow songs allowed! Just very, very loud music…(Oh, I live in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, btw)

    Reply
  179. Winter Hansen

    I write from my home office. My desk is in front of an east facing window, teapot to my left, dog to my right, the cat is wherever he damn well pleases. The walls are cluttered with daily reminders of why I should be writing. Music when necessary. If I am out, I have a notebook & my magic pen. You never know when inspiration will strike.

    Reply
  180. Audrianna

    I love writing in my bedroom with my shutters open so I can see outside – although, writing at the beach rocks, too. It’s just so relaxing and ideas just flow through my head like crazy.

    I can write just about anywhere though…

    Reply
  181. Dr. Bingo

    In my office. Sometimes in my home office. Also at loud-ass coffee shops, where the din forces me to focus.

    I find it somewhat amazing that most people commenting here don’t appear to have jobs (with actual desks and offices); or at least, not jobs that enable them the luxury of writing. I would think that many aspiring writers would be in writing-related careers. Is that not so?

    Reply
  182. Thomas Burchfield

    I am very formal and boring. I write at my desk, fully clothed. Yes, I carry a notebook and when I do write in it, I’m usually at a favored tavern.

    Reply
  183. Vieva

    I write at my desk – which shares a room with a massive train set that my toddler has. I often am working around a wriggling toddler that’s on my lap, as well. 🙂

    Reply
  184. Icy Roses

    With my trusty MacBook at a desk. I can write in bed or on a couch, but somehow, the writing is better when I’m at a desk. Current favorite locations: coffee shops of any kind, and Champaign Public Library. Being surrounded by books is usually conducive to my writing. Go figure.

    Reply
  185. Jenna

    In the corner of my bedroom that I’ve converted into my office. I also love working outside, underneath the tree in the backyard. It’s nice and shady.

    Reply
  186. misa101

    I love writing in the food court at one of the smaller malls.

    Reply
  187. Shannon

    I tend to write on the living room couch on my laptop so my dog can snuggle in my lap.

    Reply
  188. Anonymous

    I write in my home office. My desk is facing the wall rather than the bay window so I can’t waste my day staring out at the mountains. My two Weimeraners lie at my feet under the desk. My Jack Russell Terrier sits on my lap as I type. My husband calls her my muse.

    Reply
  189. Nicole Lorenz

    My most common writing spots are my desk at home, my bed at home, and my desk at work, but my favorite spot I’ve found recently is a little concrete and mosaic glass bench outside the elementary school near my house. At night it’s very peaceful, and it’s right under a street lamp.

    Reply
  190. Taymalin

    At home, either in bed on my laptop or at my desk on my PC–though my PC has far too many distractions on it (like the Sims and the internet). I need music, or a healthy dose of boredom.

    When I was in university I did a lot of writing in class. I wrote a novel in my Logic 100 class. If all of my classes had been that easy I’d have written at least a dozen novels by now.

    Reply
  191. Lisa Katzenberger

    I’ve tried the coffeeshop/library writing attempt, but there’s just too much going on for me to focus. I write at home where I can control how loud or quiet it is (except when my upstairs neighbor is vacuuming). I have an office at home with a desk and all that jazz, but as I’m in Chicago there is one tiny window that looks out directly at another building. So I rarely step foot into the office and spend my days writing in a little sunroom off the living room that is surrounded on all sides by big windows. It makes me feel less isolated when I’m home alone all day.

    Reply
  192. Griffin Asher

    I can write anywhere as long as there are no other people around. I tend to be very emotional when I write. If something sad is happening in the story then I cry. Something funny and I start chortling to myself.

    I only feel comfortable being randomly emotional if no one else is around.

    Except for my cat, but he already knows I’m crazy. 😉

    Reply
  193. stephanie

    Sooki Scott –

    Ah, how fortunate. Sulking Mountains = Bliss

    Reply
  194. Central Content Publisher

    I prefer to write first drafts in the setting I’m writing about. If necessary, the best available approximation. This eccentricity demands a variety of tools and techniques. I once taped a microphone to a bicycle helmet so I could write about cycling. I can’t honestly recommend the hours spent picking words from a wall of wind and road rage, but the result was satisfying.

    Ultimately, I end up at a desk in front of the computer writing a more coherant draft. I print that draft onto paper, mark it up with my cruelest red, then back to the computer for edits and rewrites. Repeat until sick of it.

    Reply
  195. Joann Mannix

    My Mac Notebook is my constant companion. It’s dragged around to kids’ soccer practices, orthodontist waiting rooms and all the rest of my chauffeuring duties. My favorite place, though, is my little couch in my bedroom, nestled up against the picture window. I have a sheepskin rug that isn’t really practical for Florida, but its softness keeps me writing at my best. I have it draped across the couch. I snuggle up into it, fire up the Mac and write away.

    I do find when I’m stuck in my writing, inexplicably, if I jump in the shower, I can usually find my way through it as I stand there under my spray. Sometimes, the gas bill is painful.

    Reply
  196. Laurel

    In my head. All the time. Started when I was about six with conversations like this:

    “Laurel, what would you like to do for your birthday?” her teacher asked.

    “I know, I know! She wants to have a pinata!” said her best friend Jennifer.

    Except I don’t think I spelled pinata right when I was six. But I did include the punctuation. Oh, and the Bobbsey twins were often included in the dialogue.

    Reply
  197. Anonymous

    in Minneapolis in my breakfast nook in the colder months (most of the year) screen porch the rest of the time

    Topher

    Reply
  198. ScribleRainbow

    I cannot write sitting. Not at a computer, a desk, or in public. My writing forms only when I am walking silently on our property. The characters begin to talk, the scenes unravel, and my body movement and facial expression changes with the characters.

    Reply
  199. cttiger

    Either on MetroNorth commuting into the city or in bed, at night, with my laptop and Golden Retriever.

    Reply
  200. Marie Force

    On my sofa with my feet up in the midst of family chaos. I find that when I travel for work, i get nothing done in those nice quiet hotel rooms. 🙂

    Reply
  201. Tamara

    Interesting question that would have a boring answer if it wasn’t for my laptop and free Wifi. One thing’s for sure – if my book gets published, I owe Panera a shout out.

    I also have a library in my house with big, comfy leather chairs. I write there, or in my home office or in the living room. This time of year, I’ll spend a few hours a day writing outside on the back porch, sometimes even taking my computer to the hammock.

    This has made me curious about you, Nathan. Is your desk at work piled high with papers, manuscripts and books? A college professor of mine was always hidden behind these piles as we talked about my WIP. I couldn’t see him, but I could smell his cigarettes. One stray ash, and bad news!

    Reply
  202. KathyF

    When I was much younger I used to dream up my stories while walking, riding my bike, or (later) driving.

    Now, I use my laptop – usually at a coffee shop or my local pizza place. I tend to work better with a low level of people type noise. I plan to also try the library. The local pub doesn’t work because it’s way too social. And once in awhile I write at home.

    I always have a notebook with me – for ideas, even in the middle of the night.

    KathyF

    Reply
  203. Other Lisa

    On my couch, facing the window where I can look at the bamboo. Laptop on one thigh, cat on the other. Heaven!

    HAH! I win for word verification: “coxones”!

    Reply
  204. Kristin Laughtin

    I often write on my notebook computer on my couch, because it sometimes helps to have things going on in the background, such as the presence of my roommates or the noise of the TV (even if I’m not paying attention).

    I write on the desktop computer in my bedroom if I want to be more isolated, or am writing a section I had to do a lot of research for (because it’s easier to flip back and forth between documents with all the research, copy-paste, etc., with a normal-sized keyboard and mouse), or if I suspect I’ll want to sit on my couch and read (especially on the aforementioned notebook) after I’m done writing.

    Reply
  205. Scott

    Reading the comments of those who write with music either playing from speakers or in their earphones got me thinking about how I learned not to have anything but silence accompany my work.

    When I wrote my novella, I had two lists of music repeating throughout, and it really put me in the mood. As a result, I wrote quickly and I felt every word on the page. In fact, I was compelled to share my selections with my readership, going as far as to suggest what records might work well from page one.

    Then, when I read it back some months later in dead silence, I realized that I’d let the music do some of the work instead of creating the mood from of my prose. It wasn’t a huge gaff, but it was noticeable. Now, I work in quiet, which has forced me to develop every layer of sentiment from scratch via my words.

    Has anyone else has had this experience?

    Reply
  206. Nora Coon

    In class.

    (just kidding, any professors reading this)

    In bed. My desk in my dorm room is way too cluttered to write there.

    Reply
  207. NotJana

    At the moment the best place for me to write are coffee shops – with a huge mug of hot chocolate next to me.

    I also write at home, but am more easily distracted. Though, once the fingers start flying, they are flying (it usually takes much longer to reach that state at home, though).

    I also started to carry a small notebook in my bag, in case inspiration strikes or I’m in for an unexpected wait.

    And, just today, I emailed myself a couple of sentences from work that I didn’t want to forget.

    Reply
  208. Liana Brooks

    In my study with a floor-to-ceiling south facing window, a small indoor jungle set along the base. The curtains are a dusky blue, faded from years of catching hot southern sun. There’s a red bean bag chair in the corner next to the bookcase, a perfect place for DH to read while I write…

    Currently to scene is set in rural Alabama. But the scene outside the window tends to change every 12 months or so.

    Reply
  209. Juliana Stone

    I write not in my nice comfy office, but for some reason enjoy sitting at the dining room table in front of a large window. The light is good….I love the colours in this room, really rich…and my golden retriever is usually at my feet. A hot cuppa hazelnut coffee and the world is perfect!

    Reply
  210. Melissa

    I write on the couch, in my bedroom, or at the dining room table. No music–my three children provide enough background noise.

    All I really need is my laptop and a window for staring out of. The only place I really can’t write is in a hotel room. Even without children, especially without children, it’s so anonymous, I lose any identity I have.

    Reply
  211. Ulysses

    I write at my desk in the basement on a computer.

    Really not interesting.

    I like this better:

    I compose while lounging on Waikiki beach, twirling a glass of single malt on the rocks. My assistant dutifully takes dictation in Esperanto and ensures that my ice doesn’t melt in the heat. My musings, which are brilliant but often interrupted by bouts of heat-stroke, are later transcribed by an international team of linguists who spend their nights puzzling over my words and trying to find correllations with either Nostradamus or Clive Cussler (I forget which). In the morning, with my bagel and orange, I am presented with the results of their work, which is read to me by a chorus of scantily-clad Hegelians. My revision commands usually run something like, “Less Steinbeck, more Woody Allen,” or occasionally, “Good, but make the protagonist a wallaby entangled in a passionate but doomed affair with a cactus. Not a Saguaro. Make it a Cholla, bringing in the whole nocturnal/diurnal complication.” After that, it’s down to the beach for another full day of labor.

    It’s a difficult life. Honestly, I don’t know how much longer I can tough it out.

    Reply
  212. Alessa Ellefson

    I have no idea whether you’re even going to reach my comment, but, in case you do, here’s my answer:
    For long-had work: favorite spot is probably the couch, though I find I get a lot more done in bed before I turn off the lights (don’t have a TV to distract me).
    For computer work: my dining room table (it’s really big so I get to spread out all my papers).

    Reply
  213. Jeannie Campbell

    such a broad question generates so much more responses from the lurkers!

    i write in my bed, feet up, macbook on a lap tray so it doesn’t make me too hot. 🙂

    Reply
  214. Nathan Bransford

    alessa-

    I read all the comments. I’m not able to respond to everyone though.

    Reply
  215. Flemmily

    My favorite place to write is in my home office–I get the most work done there.

    But, I probably get the most work done there because it’s assigned in my head as “the writing spot”. I know when I hit the seat that it’s official Butt In Chair time, and I need to have at least a couple of pages done before I move around. Or eat licorice. (I keep licorice in there too.)

    ~Emily

    Reply
  216. Lupina

    Wow, I’m late to this party. But I write a lot of things word for word in my head while lying either in bed or on the sofa with my eyes closed.

    When it comes to inputting the data and building the prose, I write fiction on my laptop, preferably on the living room sofa when no one else is home but the dog and me. For nonfiction, I have to be where I can build a fort of reference books around myself, and the only place where family members won’t knock it down is my office. I also write on my laptop in there, in an old wicker chair my 90-year old neighbor found under his front porch. His wife had put it there for the winter 30 years previous, then died before spring and he had forgotten to ever bring it out again. He sold it to me for $25 with no regrets. His name was Elmo.

    Reply
  217. Alexa

    In my study at my desk but I also love the B&N cafe because they have Cinnamon dolce lattes to hand and you overhear the most amazing things.

    Reply
  218. Mara Wolfe

    In a darkish room with Lord of the Rings music playing. I think it adds to the mood, especially as I write fantasy.

    Reply
  219. Weronika

    I need my laptop, a quiet place, and a seating arrangement that is both comfy and demanding, otherwise I get either too comfortable or too frustrated.

    Reply
  220. Aimless Writer

    Laptop on my couch.
    Everywhere. I always have a paper and pen cause ya never know when the story is going to work itself out in your head.

    Reply
  221. T. Anne

    I use to write in the office until my husband fanned his business feathers and turned it into a loose-leaf paper catastrophe. So when he chased me away with the mess, I headed to the kitchen and have been hunched over the counter ever since. Of course I take my laptop on trips and out by the pool, in my bed and occasionally in my daughters room as I wait for her to fall asleep but primarily I’m sandwiched between the Jack La Lanne’s power juicer and the coffee grinder.
    (I think Virginia Woolf just rolled over in her grave.)

    Reply
  222. Ash D.

    I write at the dining room table with my laptop.

    It’s comfortable enough that I can sit there for a few hours at a time, but not comfortable enough to encourage a nap. 🙂

    And, if I’m in the mood to procrastinate, I can just sit and look out the windows and enjoy Alabama’s fickle weather.

    Reply
  223. Whirlochre

    Depends on what stage I’m at.

    For generating the material that will become words, I like to be on foot with a notebook.

    For anything slightly more concrete, it has to be the pub.

    First formal drafts tend to be written in bed, then transported to a proper desk via the computer.

    Subsequent drafts can then happen in any of the above locations, only with no distractions this time (ie other life forms or their music).

    Final edits tend to be done suspended from a noose.

    Reply
  224. sex scenes at starbucks

    Anywhere with my laptop. Favorite: the recliner in my own office, some u2 or something rocking on the stereo.

    Reply
  225. sex scenes at starbucks

    I think we need to see a picture of Nathan at his desk, pondering queries and contracts.

    😀

    Reply
  226. Elaine 'still writing' Smith

    Nathan v God compare?
    People hope God is listening to their thoughts even when it seems like s/he isn’t
    Nathan actually is …! OMG!

    Reply
  227. Caroline

    I write in my bed leaning against the headboard with my laptop on my lap. Sometimes when I need a creative boost I take my laptop to sit outside and look at the water.

    Reply
  228. allegory19

    I write at home on the couch when no one else is around. Total silence is the only way I can think. I also have a tendency to read aloud what I’ve written, and I don’t want to do that around other people.

    In the summer, I take my laptop and sit outside on the deck – as long as no one is mowing their grass and the neighborhood kids aren’t screaming.

    Reply
  229. Martin

    When I’m cranking out the words, in my La-Z-Boy with my laptop when everyone’s asleep. Editing and rewrites are done in my home office.

    Reply
  230. Lisa Dez

    I write whenever I hear the voices in my head–which is pretty much all the time–so my laptop goes everywhere with me. If I can punch out a paragraph or two between patients at my office I’m happy. I also write a lot in airports, airplanes and hotel rooms when I’m traveling on business. Most of my writing happens on my couch at home.

    The only place/time I don’t like to write is at three o’clock in the morning when I’m trying to sleep. Someone please tell me how to make the voices stop!

    BTW: To the guy I ran off the highway this morning while I was banging on my keyboard. Sorry!:O

    Reply
  231. Dorothy

    I write in my office at my computer desk on a dell with high speed internet. How mundane! Yet my CDs are in a standing case in reach of my right hand if I want music. My work-in-progress paper files are in a storage box next to the CDs. The window is open in good weather. I can see the top of the young tree in our side yard and the clouds. I have a tea towel printed with horse breeds on the wall next to the window. Three of them appear in my current novel. Next to that is an inspiring photo of Castlerigg Stone Circle. It’s where two of my characters were born. My maps, history books and key references are on the shelf to my left with the telephone. My blackberry is plugged in behind me. The clock is out of my line of vision. I can ignore it easily. Supper is frequently late and hastily conceived.

    Reply
  232. Nick

    I write in coffee shops if I can. The distractions actually help me. If I focus too hard my writing is garbage.

    Reply
  233. The Norris Ranch

    I write whenever I get an idea, no matter where I’m at. I’ve actually stopped mid grocery shopping to note down something.

    Reply
  234. MzMannerz

    On my sofa, usually, but also at my desk.

    Reply
  235. May

    I write in a couple of places – I have a wonderfully cluttered desk with a window that gives me a view of the live oaks and the sky. I’m also a photographer, and the window faces west, so if I catch a fantastic sunset over the swamp – I’m gone!

    I have a funky slate coffee table in the living room. I like to write there, sitting on the floor.

    Sometimes I write on my neighbor’s dock on Econfina Creek. It overlooks a cypress swamp. Surrounded by the sounds of the swamp, the birds, the insects – I find it a good thinking/writing/photography place.

    When I write here in my “office”, to drown out the snores of dogs that are usually here (actually, quite melodius by themselves), I like music – usually jazz or native American.

    Just give me paper and a pen. Anywhere, anytime a thought strikes, it’s good to have them at hand.

    http://www.jpgmag.com/people/maziel

    Reply
  236. amanda

    Right now, the majority of my writing takes place on my couch, with my laptap, dog, and good friend joe-otherwise known as “coffee”. However, with summer drawing near, I may need to re-locate to our camping trailer that is currently parked in our driveway. It’s comfortable, bright, and there are no distractions; like unfinished laundry or dishes.

    If a brilliant idea happens to pop into my head, no matter what I’m doing or where I am, especially if it is just one sentence that I know will fit just right in that certain story, I will write it on anything that is available. Receipts, napkins, my kids forehead… (just joking about the forehead, lol)…

    Reply
  237. anaquana

    The place where I write best is in bed, usually very late at night when my mental editor isn’t quite as persnickety. There’s just something about being so tired that my eyes ache that opens the floodgates so the words simply flow from my pen onto the paper.

    Reply
  238. Kirst.

    I find I write anywhere and everywhere to the point where I actually take soap crayons (I kid you not)into the shower with me to write on my tiles!

    Reply
  239. Jen C

    So many responses already…

    I write wherever I can, I’m not precious about it. I write a lot at work, because it’s nice and quiet there. Or I write right here on the couch at home where it’s comfy and I can wear my ugly bed socks (wait, you didn’t hear ANYTHING about bed socks…).

    I write on the tram to and from work, in line at the supermarket, in bed when I’m just about to fall asleep and have an idea I don’t want to forget, in the food court on my lunch break…

    So yeah, I will write wherever!

    PS Mira, what happened to your ice cream pic?? I loved that pic… my love for sweets is only equalled by my love for Pauly Shore movies…

    Reply
  240. Raethe

    That’s one ofthe reasons I love writing paper and pencil (though time constraints have made me give up the practice lately, sadly): I can literally write anywhere.

    It’s nice.

    Reply
  241. M. K. Clarke

    I dream scenes. Construct them in the shower or marinating in a tub of hot water. I imagine while standing at the sink doing dishes as The Brothers Johnson’s “Stomp!” beats in my earbuds. I write while walking the dog. I write while reading. And I put all this on my computer screen as those same earbuds stay in my ears. Helps me get “in the zone.”

    I even write while taking a pee break or while lifting 30lb. Selectechs over my head (but I’m here long enough to know not to drop them on my face!)

    Reply
  242. Shell I

    I write in my bed on a laptop. My laptop died recently & my muse has gone in sympathy 🙁

    In my day job I am on a desktop computer for 8+ hours a day and just cannot write on a desktop to save my life.

    Reply
  243. PurpleClover

    Scott –

    In answer to your question, I have resolved that listening to music can subtract from the voice or quality in my manuscript. I do like white noise (low boring tv or humidifyer). I would choose silence to music though. Something that sounds AWESOME after listening to Rage Against the Machine, sounds rediculous when you read it in silence. At least for me.

    I do think silence makes you work harder at evoking an emotion from your character. Just like background music can make a silent film more touching. But then you take away the music and what do you have? I guess if we could add a soundtrack into the finished novel for the readers to be forced to listen to we would be better off. 🙂

    Reply
  244. PurpleClover

    Sorry “concluded” would have been a better word than “resolved”.

    Reply
  245. Jen C

    I much prefer to write in silence, I find I get much more done. That’s why my work is awesome, unless the next door office is having one of their action movie lunch breaks.

    But trying to find silence where I live is near impossible. I live in the inner city, so there’s always something going on. And I’d much rather be listening to my own music than some crappy euro dance music coming from across the road.

    Reply
  246. M. K. Clarke

    I write anywhere, EXCEPT a coffee shop. There I observe the others writers showing off they’re writing! :p

    Favorite place: on my bed, in my room, in my zone.

    Reply
  247. anniegirl1138

    My husband made an office for me out of the spare bedroom where I have a desk, comfy office chair and my computer. With the weather threatening spring, however, I toddle off to the Starbucks in town (so tea is made FOR me) or I go to the public library and hide in the stacks.

    Soon the deck will be finished and warm weather will free me to lounge on our new patio furniture while my muse the sun reminds me that daylight is being wasted.

    Reply
  248. SZ

    Well, San Francisco had a heat wave the last few days, so a laptop close to the window !

    I also tend to write in my head when I am out walking. I have to write notes down and then log them later.

    Reply
  249. Horserider

    I’ll write anywhere. In bed with the laptop (which is where a lot of my writing happens), in the recliner, on the couch, outside laying in the sun, in the car on the way to our vacation destination, in school when a sudden idea pops into my head. Writing happens anywhere with paper or a computer in my world.

    Reply
  250. Tim

    I’m with :)ASH … Cemeteries are the way to go for me. There’s a beautiful HUGE one not too far away, and during the summer, especially, it’s the perfect place. Peaceful rolling hills, ancient shade trees, and so much life and living represented by the bones and monuments of those whose stories–at least here on earth–are already brought to a close.

    I bring a portable chair and a pen and notebook and any research printouts or books I need and I can stay for hours. The lawn maintenance guy even waved at me to stay and went to work on a different plot so as not to disturb me. There’s nowhere else (convenient) on earth where I could be so left alone! You all should try it sometime!

    Reply
  251. Silicon Valley Diva

    I have a desk in my living room where I sit and write in the mornings.

    But, I also sometimes will bring a notebook and write while waiting for the kids to get out of school. And I keep the notebook in my purse, just in case I get hit with a sudden flash of inspiration on the go.

    Reply
  252. Solvang Sherrie

    In bed. That’s where I am right now. The bed is made and I’m fully dressed :^) but it’s such a comfy spot for dreaming and writing.

    Reply
  253. Anahita

    My lap top is usually on my kitchen cabinet. I write a sentence or two, then go play with the kids, cook dinner, and do dishes. Meanwhile those sentences and thoughts get rewritten over and over in my mind. Then I revise them and write some new ones and go play with the kids… I love it.

    Reply
  254. Gwen

    I’m a student in a graduate program, and I went to a really good/hard college before, so I am a terrible student and usually work on my books under the guise of taking notes (in 3 of 4 classes). I also write in my living room, at Borders, Starbucks, Panera, and anywhere I have paper and a pen or my computer.

    Reply
  255. Dawn Herring

    It depends on what I’m writing. If it’s my novel, I’m at my computer in my office. If I’m writing poetry, essays, or memoir, I usually write longhand in my bedroom or living room, wherever the muse hits. If I’m working on a query or cover letter, I’m at my desk in my office writing longhand.
    Occasionally I’ll work on something in the car when I’m waiting for my daughter to get out of school. I always carry a notebook with me whenever I go out. And occasionally, when the inspiration flows after the lights are out, I’ll take notes in the dark!

    Reply
  256. Sharon Kirk Clifton

    Thank you for asking. Much depends on where I am in the writing process. Cozy coffee shops are great for early writing when I’m first developing an idea. I’ll sip coffee, suck on a peppermint stick, and eavesdrop on all the neighboring tables (if the customers are kind enough to speak up for me to hear them…and most are, especially if they’re talking on a cell phone), until my consciousness totally enters the world of the story.

    As I get down to the actual writing, I sequester myself with my computer and a cup of Earl Grey and enter into a typing frenzy. I create my own ambiance by playing music that reflects in some way the time or culture of the work.

    Now, I would love for you to ask us where we would like to write, if it were possible.

    Reply
  257. Anonymous

    Dear Nathan, If the “rude” comment was for me, I certainly did not intend to be so. I congratulate the authors on reading the market so much more effectively than I have done thus far, that’s for sure. I simply remain amazed at the distance between what I understood was wanted, and what is actually being selected for representation. I assume agents know what is selling right now, and there’s no point in choosing anything else.
    If there is any good news, it is that this revelation sets me free, and takes me back to a place I left long ago, writing because I enjoyed it.
    It’s easy to get completely lost in trying to figure out what will sell, especially with such a long lead time. As they said, right now every other book in the store seems to be about a dog, or written by a dog.
    As for the three query winners, I wish them well, and thanks for the most useful contest. I’ll never fit in this group-it’s so pointless to keep trying. I’m best off to go back to the work I know, and the work that seems to sell in this part of the country. I really don’t understand where adult and young adult books are heading right now. I assume the NY agents do. Thank you.

    Reply
  258. Jaye

    I love to write in a bakery/coffee shop in a building that once housed a newspaper published by Walter Williams. Mr. Williams went on to found the journalism school at Missouri University and then become president of MU. It inspires me to work in the presence of past greatness.

    Reply
  259. Kristi

    I only have about an hour or two a night to write (after the kids are in bed and before I become comatose), so I usually sit on the couch with my laptop and a cup of tea (and my beagles by my side).

    BTW, this is much improved over the cursive typewriter my mom gave me when I was eight years old. Every time I changed the story, I had to retype the entire freaking thing…I guess I just gave away how incredibly old I am, and I’m still a few years from 40. 🙂

    Reply
  260. AndrewDugas

    I can write anywhere, and my favorite place is the most difficult: at my writing desk in my living room.

    I’ve had very good luck in cafes, but I wrote the last half of my first novel on the bus commuting to and from work, about 1.25 hours each way. I averaged about two semi-final-draft pages per day.

    I know, real romantic, right?

    Reply
  261. Lindajpr

    Because I have young kids, I have spent a lot of times at McDonalds and Peter Piper Pizzas with my spiral notebook. I like either a lot of noise or a lot of quiet, but not in between.

    Reply
  262. lotusgirl

    I write wherever I can. Mostly in the Kitchen. Sometimes in the car waiting for children. Sometimes kicked back in a chair.

    Reply
  263. Chazley

    I like coffeeshops, particularly this one about two hours south of where I live in Korea. It’s a Starbucks (not my first choice), but it’s on the second floor overlooking the ocean. We’ll go down for a weekend trip and spend the heat of the day sipping iced lattes and writing.

    Though, as several other people have said, I always carry a notebook because I get ideas everywhere: in church, on the subway, in class while I’m teaching. You name it, I’ve awkwardly stopped in the middle of it to jot down something that I will later tear up in disgust.

    Reply
  264. Meg

    Favorite spot to write is outside on my patio when it’s nice. Otherwise I sit at my table and write. Still waiting on that wonderful office of my dreams…

    Reply
  265. JaxPop

    (1) Back Porch
    (2) Beach
    (3) Picnic table in the shadow of the St Augustine Lighthouse

    I am building a writing room, separate from the house off the rear patio this summer. Have been collecting all things nautical including parts from sunken vessels. Once it's done I'll probably croak & the new homeowner will store a tractor inside.

    Reply
  266. RebeccaRose

    I love writing on a long plane ride. Something about the white noise and boring action make my characters want to talk.

    Reply
  267. Scott

    PurpleClover, thanks for your response! And I agree 100%. Silence makes me work harder, and I don’t rely on the atmosphere to fill in the rest.

    I also agree that white noise can work because it acts as a filter of specificity. My brain easily tunes out that which I can’t identify.

    And then the “cocktail party effect” kicks in, and someone mentions my name or a name of something I know. Doesn’t even have to be me. BAM––the connection to my story is lost.

    Oh, and thanks for you input, as well, Jen C.

    Reply
  268. Dawn Montgomery

    In a closet I converted into an office. It’s *literally* my writing cave. Very stuffy in the summer and frigid in the winter, but it gives me two doors of insulation when I have to meet a deadline: the closet door and the bedroom door.

    If I’m not at home, I write/type anywhere and everywhere I can.

    Reply
  269. allison

    Starbucks is my favorite place, even though I have an in-home office.

    Reply
  270. Cathryn

    Where don’t I write? In my writing space – an old couch in a usually quiet room with open windows. Just as often, I write in a coffee shop, in a restaurant over a bowl of wonton soup, in bed and best of all, during meetings when my co-workers speak their minds. (They think I’m doing email, like all the other multi-taskers.)

    Reply
  271. Kathie Leung

    Wow, Nathan, where do you get the time to read all these comments? Maybe that should be the next question, how do you fit everything into a day? An ask after answering kind of post. I’m betting you have cobbler gnomes.

    In answer to your question today: I write longhand in big thick notebooks, usually outside under the portable gazebo where, up until a few weeks ago, my Swedish Lapphund kept me company. Year round. And then one day a week, I meet up with a few other writers from the writing group I organized last January and transcribe as fast as possible. It’s always a hoot when I have to ask one of the other writers “what’s that word?”

    Reply
  272. Serenissima

    coffee shops, burgermaster, library

    Reply
  273. John

    I like to write at the local coffee shop. There is a table in the back by a window overlooking a waterfall, but I often write wherever and whenever.

    Reply
  274. Bee Hylinski

    Yellow Wood Cafe in Alamo, CA – a great internet cafe with great coffee and food.

    Reply
  275. fatcaster

    In The Driver’s Seat was born on a coffee-stained legal pad in a Freightliner parked atop Loveland Pass, in Colorado. I stopped writing after three pages to don a jacket, climb down from the cab and watch a sunrise. After that, I wrote–in the cab or sleeper–on legal pads and scraps of paper when a day’s miles had been driven.

    The first full drafts–six of them–were written on an ancient PC in a room that, unfortunately, overlooked an Oregon wetland. If it hadn’t been for Herons, Egrets, Belted Kingfishers, Osprey, Red-tailed Hawks, a sorry-ass and solitary Bald Eagle, river otters, all manner of ducks, assorted geese, open windows, binoculars and a spotting scope, the book would have taken far less time to button up.

    My WIPs–novel, children’s book, two screenplays–appear word-by-word on a new PC in my California home office. Unfortunately, the desk sits by a window that opens to Hummingbird feeders, a Ponderosa pine stocked with Red-breasted Nuthatches, and California black oaks where Acorn Woodpeckers party. Doubly sad is the Fender Telecaster that is just too close to the desk. I don’t know how long the WIPs will take.

    Sorry. That’s the short answer.

    Reply
  276. jill

    usually on my desktop computer at home – desk in the dining room with dual monitors for more multi-tasking. Also my desk at work (on breaks) or a notebook and pen when travelling.

    Reply
  277. Melanie K

    I usually write at a Peet’s Coffee shop in Palo Alto CA. I get my caffeine fix, see a lot of the same people and don’t have to scramble to pick my daughter up from pre-school–she’s just down the street.

    But I keep a notebook with me at all times, because you just never know. 🙂

    Reply
  278. evilphilip

    I write in front of my main PC (a huge video gamer beast) on my laptop. I move my gaming keyboard (Razer Tarantula) out of the way and I put a small laptop in its place.

    I do all my writing on a laptop because I have written several books about video games and it was necessary to have one computer to play the game and a second to write the book.

    It is just the way I do things now.

    Reply
  279. Elissa M

    I write in my head. 😉

    Then I put it on paper, either directly with a pen, or through a computer and printer.

    I’ve moved around so much, there’s no particular place I can claim as my writing spot.

    Reply
  280. Reba

    The absolute crappiest room in my house – a summer kitchen with touch and go heat/air in which far too much junk is living. It is the only place in my house where I cannot hear the rest of the family or their infernal electronic devices. I sort of love it in there now.

    Second choice is my best friend’s living room, in a leather armchair that is just worn enough to feel like a hug. Since she lives next door, and I have a key, I can do this whether she’s home or not. But it’s better if she’s home and writing or knitting or (best of all) playing her Steinway.

    Reply
  281. Anonymous

    On the bathroom wall.

    Reply
  282. Anonymous

    Sometimes on the bathroom wall.

    Reply
  283. Sharon

    I can write rough drafts just about anywhere. I keep pads of paper stashed all over the house, in my purse and under the seat of my car. On the rare occasion that I don’t have paper and pen around I will call my home and leave a “writing idea” message on my answer machine. This drives my husband nuts, but oh well!

    BUT…when it gets down to serious final draft stuff I go to my office, shut the door and get to work.

    Reply
  284. Richard Lewis

    EC said he writes in church.

    I have, too. Once after a sermon a stalwart matron of the church remarked to my wife, “I am impressed with your husband, taking notes on the sermon.”

    Since I live in Bali, most of my writing is done in a room with no view. All the viewing has to be done inside my head. No distractions, please, especially not a view of the surf.

    Reply
  285. Betty Atkins Dominguez

    Horrors, I answered this on the e-mail. The messiest place in my bedroom. If tooo organized, I can’t get creative.

    Reply
  286. Carey_Corp

    Honestly, anywhere I have 5 minutes to myself. Stoplights, parking lots, the potty (yes I take a notebook into the potty)-Then I get everything onto my laptop from 5-7 am before work.

    Reply
  287. Beatriz Kim

    At the moment, I write in my bedroom. I have a desk facing the window (good view) and a comfortable chair. I learned this from “A Room with a View”. But I also write on my bed, if I’m tired. I also use my sister’s office space, where I have a comfy sofa.

    I would love to write in a Starbucks or Peet’s, but I haven’t done that in a while.

    Reply
  288. Shannon

    I always write first on paper, and generally at home in my bed, or out and about in my car. I come up with preliminary ideas most often while taking a shower or while driving, so my room and my car are ideal, nearby locations. My revisions are half and half on paper and on computer, but major revisions and new ideas always come up on paper and not on a computer screen.

    Reply
  289. Nikki Duncan

    In my office on my desktop computer unless emails and IMs are disturbing me. Then I switch to my laptop and move to a different spot. I can work in my office, outside, in the living room amongst the children running and playing, in the car on road trips, or in the middle of a family gathering if need be. Once I’m in the zone with my characters nothing bothers me. Oh, and my ipod helps. 🙂

    Reply
  290. Heather

    Starbucks, every day. Drop the kid off at preschool, go to Starbucks, drink and write, pick the kid up from preschool. Kills two birds with one stone: caffeine addiction and writing addiction both satisfied.

    Reply
  291. Grapeshot/Odette

    My desk in the home office with my IPOD and my favorite “stuff,” like books, paintings, an old microsoft, things that are easy on the eyes. In the Boston, MA area. And on trains, planes and busses should that be necessary or if I’m inspired.
    Two cats hang out, one often in front of the keyboard where her paw sometimes touches the mouse pointer. My research is within reach, and I am most productive here.

    Reply
  292. TecZ aka Dalton C Teczon - Writer

    I used to write on my breaks at work, (we were allowed to take breaks at our desk cubicles which were fairly well enclosed).

    Now I write in the comfort of my ‘research lab’ aka ‘home office’ in Eastern Idaho. My main computer sits on my desk awaiting the press of the button that brings it to life. My Yamaha keyboard sits quietly next to it, surrounded by stacks of technology magazines, computer games, various books on a wide range of subjects and an assortment of rough drafts stuffed in milk crate shelves. Behind me, my bulletin board, hanging tightly onto partially bent nails, is filled with various ideas, notes to self and funny quotes to make myself laugh.

    It’s usually quiet here except when my fluffy fur balls, of which I have ten, decide to get into a fighting match. Then it’s hiss, growl, hiss, bang, me dashing out of the room at top speed to prevent bloodshed and the scattering into all directions of seemingly innocent cats. And finally, myself left wondering and yelling, “Okay, who was it?” (Like they’re going to answer? Oh, brother)! Then a slow, confused trudge back into the ‘research lab’ as I shake off the annoyance and remember how much I love them. Once back, I plop back down on my pillow laden chair and continue writing.

    Reply
  293. Lucinda

    Where do you write? What is your favorite writing spot?

    “Writing is not as much of where my fingers run across my laptop keyboard as it is a state of mind.

    While working at a mindless job (factory work), I create scenes, chapters and characters, even talk with my characters or they with me. I call it ‘active meditation’ and it is much like driving, raking, or mowing the grass for some.

    Boxes of scribble notes, brainstorming, and ideas hide under my bed collecting dust and cobwebs. (no room for evil boogy man under there) These boxes have been known to take up residence in the high shelves of my closet, too. Inside these musty old boxes are scraps of paper, receipts, napkins from various restaurants, and envelopes each with an idea or beginning of something that grows inside my laptop.

    Pen and paper are never far from where I can write something down when an idea hatches. I have even written in my sleep and woke to find my handwriting was better when I was asleep than awake.

    Writing is accomplished on my laptop most often because my penmanship became hieroglyphic after college and computers. But my favorite SPOT to write anything is at my oak roll-top desk. The view outside my window has no romantic appeal, nor does my tiny low-rent apartment, but…inside my imagination, I can be anyone and anywhere at the speed of thought.”

    Lucy

    Reply
  294. Brigid

    I used to sit on the couch with my headphones plugged into my laptop, writing with loud raucous music while my husband watched reality tv. (I think I watched an entire season of Survivor without hearing a word of it.)

    But then I got pregnant, and my belly got in the way of my laptop. Ever since then, I sit at a desk, but I must (MUST) have a cup of coffee to write.

    Reply
  295. Azimuth

    Hi, Nathan. I write in the cracks of the day — during coffee break, on my lunch hour, and after work, when I’ve fed the kiddies and done my other motherly and wifely duties. I write at my desk on my laptop, sometimes in complete silence and sometimes with music playing. I am surrounded by talismans and images that relate to my WIP — pictures of the setting, of landmarks that may be important, and of my characters (in one story, I used Derek Jacobi for my character when he was an older man). On the weekends, I get long stretches at a time to indulge. I get up at dawn and work for several hours in the early morning silence.

    Reply
  296. Heidi the Hick

    -corner of the couch by the bay window
    -big hideous/gorgeous old green and yellow velour armchair
    -on the deck
    -in bed

    I will never own a desktop computer.

    plus I always carry a little notebook in my purse with about five pens so I can write down a sudden burst of inspiration!

    Reply
  297. Kathleen Noud

    I dream about a day in the future when I will have my own little study to work in full of my books and movie posters and nick-nacks.

    But right now its whenever I can that has a power plug for my laptop – local library, my bedroom, at work. If it’s during the day, I need somewhere sunny or with a big open window but that could be an Aussie thing.

    Reply
  298. Kimmy

    Ok, so, I guess I am the quirky one! I write on my floor, with my trusty pen and paper in hand. The movie “Ella Enchanted” can be heard throughout the house, blaring on the television. I don’t really know why, I think it’s because I write YA fairytales, who knows, but for some reason, that movie inspires me to write. I can be stuck, in a rut, with writer’s block from you know where, as soon as that movie comes on, bang, I’m writing again. lol.

    Reply
  299. Crimogenic

    In bed surrounded by my blanket, which says something about the freezing temperature of the state I live in.

    Reply
  300. Jen C

    Shannon said…
    I always write first on paper, and generally at home in my bed, or out and about in my car… My revisions are half and half on paper and on computer, but major revisions and new ideas always come up on paper and not on a computer screen.

    I used to write with pen on paper, but I hit a point where I thought I was just creating more work for myself having to transcribe it all onto a computer, so I forced myself to learn to write directly onto my laptop.

    I sometimes miss writing by hand, because I feel it’s more personal. However, I type 80wpm, so I can type a heck of a lot faster than I can write by hand!

    Reply
  301. T.Wolfe

    I write at work at 2am when the t.v. shows get boring and at work trainings. I also write at home and in the car (when I am stuck at red lights).

    Reply
  302. Adam Heine

    My favorite? Any place with food, air conditioning, and a comfortable seat/desk arrangement.

    My actual? Anywhere I can get, up to and including my bed, the desk in the family room (lost behind all the toddler toys), and my daughter’s desk while she’s at school.

    Reply
  303. Linda

    Every morning, in what was the living room but which now houses the piano, bookshelves, and the kids’ craft cart. There, in the bay window is MY desk, an old cherry piece from a dear friend, now deceased, who gave it to me when she moved into a nursing home. When day breaks, which it does about half-way through my ‘session’, redbuds face me, and I often see deer and bluebirds.

    It is my favorite moment of the day. Peace, Linda

    Reply
  304. Marilyn Peake

    Moments ago, I finished witing the first draft of my new sci fi novel. Speaking of where we write … Now that I’m finally looking away from my computer and looking around, I wanna know: Who sprinkled pixie dust all over my furniture??

    Reply
  305. Marilyn Peake

    Jen C said:
    “I used to write with pen on paper, but I hit a point where I thought I was just creating more work for myself having to transcribe it all onto a computer, so I forced myself to learn to write directly onto my laptop.”

    Me, too. I thought I’d never learn to write creatively on the computer, but now I write best that way.

    Reply
  306. Jil

    I have my own big desk, covered in notes, books, more notes and my laptop. I usually have a picture of my novel’s location (always a place i’ve loved) and, stuck on the wall, Einstein’s words on a bookmark, “Imagination is more important that knowledge”. There is also a unicorn.I love unicorns.
    The room opens onto a breezeway so my dog can wander in and out, and hopefully no one else. I look out at a hummingbird friend and trees when I need a rest. A friendly place for all my characters to, hopefully, thrive.

    Reply
  307. Laurie

    I have an L-shaped sofa that is a perfect “office.” I sit with my laptop on my lap and any papers that I need are right next to me on the adjoining wing.

    I work in that space day and night. During the day, I’m a journalist, and I work on my first novel at night.

    The “well-lit cafe” just didn’t work for me. The one time I tried it, I found myself looking up every time the door opened.

    Reply
  308. Jil

    I have my own big desk, covered in notes, books, more notes and my laptop. I usually have a picture of my novel’s location (always a place i’ve loved) and, stuck on the wall, Einstein’s words on a bookmark, “Imagination is more important that knowledge”. There is also a unicorn.I love unicorns.
    The room opens onto a breezeway so my dog can wander in and out, and hopefully no one else. I look out at a hummingbird friend and trees when I need a rest. A friendly place for all my characters to, hopefully, thrive.

    Reply
  309. Shannon Ryan

    I do my best writing in a coffee shop at lunchtime. Something about trying to ignore the other customers, the blenders, the foam jets makes me focus just right.

    If the weather is nice, though, I like to sit on my deck with a glass of wine and my laptop.

    Reply
  310. Sarah Goodner

    I usually write at my desk or on my back porch. Occasionally at the local coffee house.

    I am currently working on a ghost story, though, and to really get in the mood, I have to change location. There is a beautifully kept graveyard down the street from my apartment, so lately, that has been where the spirits move me.

    Reply
  311. Fire_eyes007

    I write at work. My job is mindless and boring (darkroom tech at x-ray clinic) and I find my mind races with ideas and dialogue while I whirl around the darkroom or bring in patients.

    The annoying thing is when I get a really good paragraph going, and I have to stop scribbling it down and actually do my job.

    A good trick I’ve found is to print out a chapter and then read and edit it during the quiet moments at work.

    Reply
  312. Jannette Johnson

    I write at my fifteen year old desk that’s warped due to the weight of my monitor and printer. I have a really uncomfortable chair who’s cusions are loosing their fluffiness sooner than I would have hoped, therefore I have created a a writing mantra to help me when I write;

    “ineedalaptopineedalaptopineedalaptop….”

    Reply
  313. Melanie Avila

    Chiming in from Zihuatanejo, Mexico. 🙂

    I don’t have a laptop so I write/type at my desk. I wrote my first draft by hand and took that notebook EVERYWHERE. I’m really hoping for an Alphasmart or laptop in my future.

    Reply
  314. Jason Crawford

    For really no reason, other than that’s where the computer desk is, I write in our sunroom.

    Basically, i just need a quiet lonely place where I can think.

    Reply
  315. Cass

    Before my girls go to bed: With my laptop, on my couch. I like to use a breakfast tray and turn it upside down.Set it on top of a pill in my lap and viola. Instant poratable desk.

    After my girls go to bed:
    Take the portable desk up to my room and then write until I fall asleep.

    SS – I see Mt Rainier every day on the way to work, but don’t get to look at her majesty all day. Lucky you.

    Reply
  316. Lynn F.C.

    At home, in a sun room on the side of the house on my glass desk where I have my laptop set up. On the road, which is once a month, anywhere I can open up my laptop and not be bothered by anyone. I just purchased my new iBook last April and still wonder how I did everything long-hand, but I did even though I had a great desktop.

    Where, is not as important as on what, so if I don’t have a laptop available, a lined pad of any kind is fine is where I scribble my thoughts.

    Reply
  317. litenup_rach

    definitely sitting in bed with my laptop, french doors open and breathin’ in the jasmine-ivy on the lattice deck.

    if its really late at night – into the wee hours – tv’s usually on with sound muted just in case something interesting pops up.

    Reply
  318. HeygateLive

    In the mornings I like to write in cafes – Starbucks, depending on the location, has the best combination of anonymity, space, and distraction. But anywhere away from cell phones will do – people talking on cell phones really kills my concentration.

    In the evenings I write either in a library, or most often at home. Anywhere quiet, with a bit of ambience.

    Reply
  319. Scott

    Being a freelancer, I have a home office–my Schreibwinkel. It’s small, but comfortable, with lots of tunes. It’s usually quiet enough when I need it to be, or I can crank up the music when that’s useful. I have a great view of the Wasatch mountains–if I turn and twist enough. It’s not my dream writing space, but it works for me.

    I also have a laptop that I use when I want to write somewhere else, like in the bedroom or away from home.

    I prefer to write at home rather than away, so I have all my stuff–notes, research materials, etc.

    Reply
  320. Mystery Robin

    With my netbook, wherever I can – sofa, in the car waiting to pick up my daughter, Starbucks, sitting on the stepstool in the bathroom…

    Reply
  321. Jil

    I have my own big desk, covered in notes, books, more notes and my laptop. I usually have a picture of my novel’s location (always a place i’ve loved) and, stuck on the wall, Einstein’s words on a bookmark, “Imagination is more important that knowledge”. There is also a unicorn.I love unicorns.
    The room opens onto a breezeway so my dog can wander in and out, and hopefully no one else. I look out at a hummingbird friend and trees, when I need a rest. A friendly place for all my characters to, hopefully, thrive.

    Reply
  322. Tom Bradley Jr.

    Any quiet place with my PC (sometimes even at work…but only during lulls or lunch, honest) and, depending on my mood, a nice, cold, frosty adult beverage made with barley and hops. Except at work. Not good there.

    Reply
  323. D. Michael Olive

    I have a home office that looks out on my landscaped back yard. My desk chair is comfy and my desk is just the right height to avoid strain while I type. I’m surrounded by my favorite books as well as writing references and of course, printouts of Nathan’s most instructional blogs which I store in my files.

    Reply
  324. Rachel

    I write at my desk at home, on the second floor of our house. I look out onto hills and a big, brilliant blue, Aussie sky, which can be a little too distracting.

    But when I’m busy, and writing time it tight, I haul the laptop with me and write whenever the chance arises – in the fifteen minutes before the kids get out of school, while I’m waiting for my daughter’s dance class to finish, during the boys’ loong cricket matches that make the movement of continents seem positively speedy … I get some odd looks, but meh.

    Reply
  325. AravisGirl

    I’ve written on my bed for years. I’ve learned to write at a desk too, since we only have a desktop pc

    Reply
  326. V L Smith

    The majority of my writing is completed on my computer in my home office surrounded by my two cats and my dog. Although creatures are an inspiration, people are a distraction so I prefer to write when no one’s at home.

    Reply
  327. sdavidnowlin

    I can write anyplace I have a table to put my laptop down, but I find that I’m usually most productive in a bookstore cafe. When I try to write at home, I have to battle the ever-present call of web surfing and tv, and though there are distractions in public places as well, to be sure, they don’t tug at my attention the way my entertainment addictions do. Also, there is inspiration often to be found in people-watching and one should never discount the benefits of the venti iced chai latte. Finally, in a book store, if I have a question I can’t easily answer with a quick google query, I can often troll through the isles and find a book on exactly what I’m looking for.

    Reply
  328. Endless Secrets

    Honestly, its kind of weird but I write on the bus everyday on my way to work, i dont exactly know why, I did it once and it became a habit.
    I actually ride the bus now when I have writers block, and it almost instantly evaporates.
    But in the summer I would definately rather write at the beach under a huge umbrella with a margarita!

    Reply
  329. Endless Secrets

    Haha, i forgot to mention that i live in a small town in Canada so the buses are usually empty and the scenery is amazing. I don’t think id be able to think on a crouded bus in the city…

    Reply
  330. Michael Pickett

    I’d like to say something romantic like in the shade of a giant sycamore tree, but really it’s wherever I can. Usually that’s at my desk in my room. There are few distractions and it’s convenient.

    Reply
  331. Matilda McCloud

    I write at work–it’s not ideal, but that’s when I’m at my most creative. I work in books, and my little office space is crammed with books, and when I’m not writing, I’m looking at page proofs…then I come home and write on the family computer, and read more books, and go to the library and pick out even more books…ahhh!!!

    Reply
  332. Ryan Hunter - Writer

    If I say I write at my desk, until my head drops in fatigue and produced seven lines of Ks before I jerk awake, am I being to boring?

    I also enjoy writing on my deck, but would enjoy the view more if it didn’t face my neighbor’s doorway.

    Reply
  333. terryd

    Sometimes I write in the country
    Sometimes I write in the town
    Sometimes I get me a notion
    To jump in the river and drown.

    Reply
  334. Kate H

    I write, usually, in my bedroom, at an antique secretary desk that I inherited from a great aunt. It gives me a sense of connection to my family and my past. This only works when no one else is home and awake. I also can write outdoors, in coffee shops, in libraries, in airports . . . any place that no one is demanding anything of me. And there is no obnoxious music playing.

    Reply
  335. CNU

    I’ll premise this with a warning that this answer is cheesy and cliche:

    I write in my soul. It’s a location without a location. See why I warned people…

    As far as painting- I painted in back alleys on cinderblock benches with an audience of hobo’s watching. (No joke.*) One was mentally disturbed and said he was having some religious experience while there. A grown man crying with joy. You can’t buy that experience. Strange days, but cool.

    TMI huh?

    Welllll…… you asked.

    Reply
  336. Lucy

    Nathan, I think your last contest has produced more blog traffic. I don’t remember seeing 350+ comments to a post, at least not in a while. Wow! 🙂

    I officially write in my home office, and actually get most of my work done there, but if I have ideas coming, I will write anywhere that I can support a piece of paper (paper including napkins, tissues, bank envelopes, receipts, disposable plates, etc.) Maybe that could be the next question for blog readers: what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever used in place of actual paper?

    Reply
  337. PurpleClover

    Scott-

    No prob. I actually remembered the post you were referring to in your first comment. You had suggested music pieces for writing. I thought Wow, I wish I could listen to music and write well.But to me it was as confusing as those that have trouble walking while chewing gum. 🙂

    I think at the time you had this eye ball that stared at you and looked around. It really tripped me out.

    Reply
  338. Michelle

    It's funny because I used to love to write around other people like in Starbucks or Barnes & Noble, but now I find that the most productive work is done for me at my desk, with no noise (not even music), and with the rest of the family either asleep or out. The quiet allows me to have uninterrupted concentration on what I'm writing. It also allows me the freedom to read my work outloud to test the dialogue to ensure it feels and sounds natural and that the words of the story flow properly.

    I also like to have either a cup of tea, cup of decaf coffee, or a cup of ice next to me as I write.

    Reply
  339. Madison

    On my computer?

    Seriously though, in my room, cuddled up on the bed, with maybe a cat playing with the mouse. 🙂

    Reply
  340. jerzegirl

    In the winter, I love to write in my bed with my lap top and my pugs laying near my feet, keeping them warm.

    In the summer on nice days, I love to sit outside on our deck and write.

    I can basically write anywhere as long as it’s a laptop. I have a hard time on a console.

    My laptop feels like an extension of me, the console feels so so distant.

    Reply
  341. Hope Clark

    In my study. We built a house three years ago, and the conditions were to design it with my study facing the lake and my husband’s gun vault in the center of the house. We designed the rest of the place around those two conditions. Priorities are important!

    Reply
  342. Rupe-Boyd

    Always write by a window with a view. There is magic when the mind copes with the laptop screen and the beauty of the real world.

    Reply
  343. Anonymous

    I’m lucky enough to have a home office, with a view across town to the Appalachians beyond. It’s small and cozy, and south-facing to make the most of the light in our long Canadian winters. The walls are packed with bookshelves, as is the closet, and chocolate has its own special shelf right behind me. A little pink monkey sits on the desk, just to the left of the monitor, keeping me focused. If I’m away on a trip, I take him along and sit him on the desk in the hotel for an instant familiar writing environment.

    Reply
  344. Carolyn

    Kind of daunting to post when there are so many comments already, but what the hey.

    I’m actually a little bit at a loss, or maybe it’s just fear: I’m afraid that if I had a favorite place, I might not be able to write as well in non-favorite places. For me, writing is a state I adapt to my circumstances. Therefore, my favorite place is wherever I can achieve concentration and I’ve learned to concentrate pretty much anywhere.

    So, the real answer to this question is wherever the hell I need to write in order to meet my deadlines. I still have a day job and am a single parent, so that does add some additional pressures — but every writer has those.

    I write in the car at lunchtime and during soccer practices, I write at the gym (bike, notebook or MS in binder) 45 min no interruptions! I write in waiting rooms and anytime I’m stuck someplace with time on my hands — I always have a notebook with me. And, I write at home, too.

    Reply
  345. NotAnotherExit

    I’ll write wherever I am, but at home in my “writing space” it’s a bit cramped. I share a room with two sisters, but I have an alcove made of book shelves. I set up my laptop on a T.V. tray in this tiny little box and write away, surrounded by books. With headphones–because siblings are loud–and a blanket, because I live in Alaska and 99% of the time it’s at least slightly cold.

    Reply
  346. Robert A Meacham

    Dr. Bingo,
    I wish I worked in a writing related field, instead, I am in the grocery industry working 15 hours a day. Yipeee!!!!!
    I write in my office at home where I cherish the time after balancing life with daughters, son-in-laws, and grandchildren. I don’t even have the time to finesse a query. Hell, the book was easier to write. I submitted the query to a certain blog- not meaning this one- and got butchered.
    Bottom line, I enjoy what time I have. 🙂

    Reply
  347. RainSplats

    I write in my head all day long. When everything winds down, I spew it all out in a well-lit closet.

    I use a speech to text program because I talk faster than I type.

    Reply
  348. Ceadrick

    I like writing in the bathroom at work. Yes I’m strange.

    Reply
  349. Annie Reynolds

    In the early hours of the morning all i can see from my office window is the thick fog snuggling into the earth like a soft fluffy doona. Oh did i mention the kids are all snoring peacefully so the only sound is from the sheep in the neighboring paddock.
    Of course I don’t always have a choice, so the car, kids gym, and manny other fun places find me trying to filter out the noise (I like the quiet) and tap merrily at the keyboard.

    Reply
  350. Annie Reynolds

    In the early hours of the morning all I can see from my office window is the thick fog snuggling into the earth like a soft fluffy doona. Oh did I mention the kids are all snoring peacefully so the only sound is from the sheep in the neighboring paddock.
    Of course I don’t always have a choice, so the car, kids gym, and manny other fun places find me trying to filter out the noise (I like the quiet) and tap merrily at the keyboard.

    Reply
  351. Henri

    At a coffee shop with my Alphasmart is my favorite place, though I do a lot of editing right on my computer screen at home. Not too much handwritten anymore, but I use to right everything in longhand first.

    Reply
  352. lstaylor

    I write best away from home. As long as I have my laptop I can write forever, or at least until the battery dies. Somehow I manage to tune out the rest of the world, even without headphones (well, most of the time). On the bus, at work, in coffee shops.

    At home, I write best in the wee hours, when everyone else is asleep. Except for the psychotic kitty; I have to lock him out or he thinks that the keyboard is prime flopping real estate. When he’s not trying to jump on my head, that is.

    Reply
  353. Naive15yearold

    I write in bed, at school or just on my desk.

    Thoughts come up everynight before i go to bed so if you see my wall, you would see a whole bunch of writings for my novel…

    i take this one notebook everywhere i go, especally at school, during class i would sneak opened and write as every words travles by.

    🙂

    Reply
  354. Ego

    Hm. I drop my kid to playgroup in the morning which gives me three hours to work. I like writing on my laptop at my kitchen table. Bright and airy with birdsong outside. Sometimes a robin perches on the half door. (This is Kerry, Ireland. V. rural).

    However my 73-year-old Aunt, who lives next door, has a habit of dropping in and asking me to drive-to-shops-for-cigarettes / talk-to-man-doing-work-in-field / join-her-for-cup-of-tea-with-garrulous-neighbour.

    One does not wish to be rude, so this week I retreated to a new desk upstairs in my bedroom. A little darker, but still airy with the window open.

    My Aunt retaliated by inviting the most talkative of our neighbours to have a cup of tea and a chat at MY picnic table just under MY open window. On the basis that as I was not visible downstairs I must be out.

    This meant no cups of tea from the kitchen and no concentration for Ego.

    What do I do next?

    Reply
  355. freya

    With my alphie in coffee shops or in the flagstaff gardens around the corner from my work (in Melbourne CBD, Australia)
    or on my macbook on the couch, with my two schnauzers, Bertie and Oliver, who tap the keyboard with their paws when it’s their turn to write on their blog. (they are such ‘puter hogs!)

    Reply
  356. Deidra

    There is a bookstore/coffee shop nearby and I love to plop down in one of their big, leather chairs on a Sunday morning to write.

    I also write in my bedroom, propped up on a dozen pillows. I like this because I can wear my jammies and make my own coffee!

    http://deidrawrites.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  357. Ben

    I need relative quiet to work – natural sounds I don’t mind, but the sound of a television really grates on me (I don’t own one and rarely watch anything). Because I live with my father, and his hearing isn’t what it was, his often has the television on loudly and it irks me. I write at my desk, in a small box room, sometimes with classical music playing, mostly with no sound at all, with pen and paper for the first draft and then type it all up later. I like the feel of pen in my hand, the ink pressing onto the page, there is something much more communal about it than typing onto a computer screen where everything seems too polished. I also have a fondness for writing on trains and sometimes book five / six hour train journeys just to do this. I think the rhythm of the rails soothes me into another place.

    Reply
  358. GM

    At work, and at home, between 12 to 1 am, when the baby sleeps 🙂

    Reply
  359. Anonymous

    In my room, on the Tube during my commute, in Costa Coffee during afternoon tea, on the green after work, sometimes in the archives DURING work, and – of course – in my bed at unholy hours of the morning, when I’ve had an absolutely fantastic idea that I need to write down RIGHT AWAY.

    Reply
  360. Lord Azriah

    I almost always write at my desk, which is probably really typical. My weird quirk is that I find I’m most productive writing a couple paragraphs at a time while I’m getting myself (or my kids) ready in the morning.

    I’ll sit down for long stretches later in the day, but some of my best ideas come while I’m sipping my morning coffee.

    Reply
  361. I_am_Tulsa

    With the story that I am writing now, I can write anywhere. I keep a small notebook with me and will write on the train to and from work… I come home and type everything onto my computer that is on a very cluttered table in a corner of my living room, in Japan!

    Reply
  362. Anonymous

    New job includes a 2-hour commute into Boston, the first hour on a train. I get two hours of guaranteed writing time five days a week. On the weekends, I write at the counter of my favorite local diner, Jackie’s (if you’re ever in New Hampshire, you have to go there; it’s required). –Joe (who can’t post logged in for some reason)

    Reply
  363. Jill Lynn

    In a small town, in my small home, in a small room, on a small desk.

    BIG words, though 🙂

    Reply
  364. Matthew

    It’s a combination of at my office during the slow times and at home on the weekends when there aren’t any interruptions (fiancee/TV/internet) to contend with.

    Salem and Maynard, Mass.

    Reply
  365. ZoeCSmith

    Glued to my desk in my home office/library near Atlanta, typing on a keyboard with worn-off letters.

    Reply
  366. kaseee

    Because I work on a laptop I write everywhere, but my favorite place is at my desk in the middle of the night. I put headphones on, blast music. The selection depends on the scene I’m working on. The energy is different at night. I can lose myself easier in the story.

    When I was twelve, I first started writing at the bowling alley. My mom and dad would drag me to their stupid bowling tournaments. I brought a notebook and pen, and I would go somewhere else in my head so I wouldn’t be bored out of my mind.

    Reply
  367. Flattish

    I write wherever I find an outlet next to some peace and quiet. Most of the time that’s late nights at the dining room table, the only drawback being the cat’s get the biological call in the darkest hour. Or maybe they just like to share.

    Reply
  368. Emily Breen

    Used to have a 'desk' in my favourite local pub. A sticky table hidden behind a beam in an old Tudor building with the best rock jukebox in the world.

    Last year it closed, now I am a nomad. Any work I do in the day is in similar lurking spots – tucked away corners of bars & cafes where I can people-watch undetected. Have no laptop so notes from the day are typed up in a concerto of crashing & correcting in the wee hours when the world is asleep.

    Reply
  369. Gabriella

    As a half right-brain, half-left brain person (about 43/57), I need to quiet the left side while my right side has a chance to create. So after many years I came up with this: I write my first draft of EVERYTHING on a pad of paper using a pen. Any old paper or pen will do. I just gotta keep old lefty (aka nasty inner critic) occupied with something disciplined (like stay between the lines, mind the margins, hold the pen properly, etc) while the right brain creates without critique.

    Bliss.

    Anything after the first draft gets typed into the laptop and the left brain takes over with editing duty.

    Reply
  370. Jil

    Couldn’t get my post through yesterday. Is there a cut off limit?

    I write in the back room which opens onto a breezeway so my dog can wander in and out. I have a desk cluttered with notes, pictures to do with my latest project (old mansion, scenics etc.)My laptop which I have never put on my lap. Unicorns which are my muse and a hummingbird I watch to rest my eyes and who cusses me if his food runs out.

    Reply
  371. CS

    I write on my roof if I need to avoid distractions. If I’m looking to people watch and get some ideas, to let my mind wander, I go to the crowded university library.

    Reply
  372. CathyH

    I can write anywhere. However, when the kids are in bed and the house has gone quiet, I can sit with my laptop, in my comfy recliner and go to my other world without interruption. I have to pull myself back sometimes, knowing that the morning and responsibilities will come whether I’m prepared or not.

    Reply
  373. Niki Schoenfeldt

    I write in my office. My computer sits on a corner desk and I consider this my little working cubby. I rarely use my laptop when I write as I prefer the big pc and all my paperwork around me. Plus, it is upstairs away from the hulabaloo of the rest of the house and affords me less disruptions. I need quiet to work.

    Reply
  374. Laini Taylor

    After I sold my first book (which was written at the kitchen table), we remodeled a spare room in the house into a writing room. It’s the only room I’ve ever remodeled and decorated from scratch, and it’s a perfect space for me — I’ve written 2.5 more books there! It even has a tiny private porch (though this is attracts hobo cats who stake their claim in the way that hobo cats do, unfortunately). I’ve never had luck with writing at cafes — too distracting.

    The occasional “retreat” to a lonesome house at the Oregon coast can be very productive, though. One is coming up, and I hope to get a lot of work done!

    Reply
  375. Anonymous

    I “write” in bed, while I am trying to fall asleep and just before I get out of bed in the morning. My mind is clear. It is easy to make connections, and I keep a pad and pen on the bed table to scribble notes.

    Reply
  376. Yunaleska

    With my asus, I can write anywhere I like since it fits in my handbag. Favourite place though is on my bed, so I can look out the window, watch the sun set in the evening, watch the birds fly and the clouds change speed/shape at other times. (With a house on a hill, the view I’m getting right now is the tops of roofs, trees, fields and 3/4 sky).

    Reply
  377. Barbara's blog

    I write in the office on the computer or in my sunroom in my journal. I have all my notes and files, dictionaries and synonym finder within reach. I write better when it is quiet and wouldn’t be able to write at Starbuck’s or anywhere else with other people around.

    Reply
  378. Liz

    At the top of the stairs, there’s a second living area and the hallways and bedrooms branch off from there. A little L jogs off of this living area, hanging in space over the stairs, at eye level with the treetops showing through the ’80’s style arched window that graces the 2-story foyer. My desk is there in the L. It’s not as formal as it sounds – laundry is in piles around me, work papers cover the desk, my office laptop is beside the monitor (thankfully quiet now). But it’s the only space in the house that is *mine* alone.

    Reply
  379. Jendragon

    I’ve always done my best work in coffee shops. Maybe it’s the chi.

    Reply
  380. Anonymous

    Mostly, at my desk at home from 5-7 in the AM, but sometimes at night if I’m excited about something I wrote long hand durinng the day. (I carry a small spiral bound note pad everywhere.) I usually edit during the early part of the evening – warm days, outside on what passes for the deck.

    Saint Fool, who is too lazy to log in.

    Reply
  381. Elaine 'still writing' Smith

    I write emotion in silence but with music for atmosphere.
    My Music-to-write-too list on i-tunes has unusual glitches as it records the numbers of times played – 32 17 49 245 23.
    Some track are indespensible when writing – I put them on repeat.

    Reply
  382. Toni De Palma

    I get a lot of writing done in my summer house. I sit on my bed, with a pillow on my back and one under my laptop. Every once in a while I watch the sailboats going by on the bay. I need quiet and peace and I get it there.

    Reply
  383. Chuck H.

    I used to write all over the place from a 1959 Airstream trailer using a 1924 Underwood, to scribbling on the back of envelopes with a crayon. I’ve written in Thailand, Alaska, Germany, Turkey and Libya when it still had a king instead of a colonel. Now in my old age I have a basement dungeon with a recliner and a laptop, however I don’t do much writing anymore. Some one introduced me to blogs, damn their souls to eternal flames. Now all I do is sit, read and dream.

    Word Verification: bourinni. Kinda describes this post.

    Reply
  384. Richard Fife

    I write in one of three places: my office, with a wonderful sound system to blare music, my comfy recliner on my laptop, with a cat usually drapped across my legs, or at Barnes and Noble with a never-ending cup of tea.

    Reply
  385. Millinium

    I write anywhere, any place, and anytime I get all in a sketch/writing journal. Rewrites are done on my laptop.

    I’m like everyone else out there who just doesn’t have the time so I steal it every moment I get.

    Reply
  386. Memoirs of a Bulimic Black Boy

    My first handwritten draft and typed edit are often written at my favorite dive bar (before it gets to crazy). I tend to like people and music noise.

    Reply
  387. Rain Likely

    At the kitchen table, with a cockatiel in my lap and two dogs asleep on the floor.

    Reply
  388. therese

    I write in body. If I’m floating in the ether of idea, the fingers don’t hit the right keys.

    During rough draft and deadline days, I go in the writers cave for a marathon of word only focus. Sometimes there’s music, there’s always a chair and keyboard, sometimes a table or desk.

    Reply
  389. Anonymous

    The only time I can write is after my two toddlers go to sleep.

    Usually I’m in bed with my 16-month old boy sleeping next to me.

    Reply
  390. Samantha Tonge

    For first draft I am sadly anal – it has to be at my computer desk, with the door closed, no music,earplugs at the ready, depending on next door.

    Editing is different. Anywhere comfortable.

    Reply
  391. Terrie Knowles

    At an over-sized desk purchased at Goodwill for $35. I think it was a drafting desk b/c the drawer is as wide and deep as the desk (doesn’t suck). I love the drawer and the deal and the space. It sits in front of a sunny window overlooking the river.

    Reply
  392. Lauren

    Wow! There are a lot of comments here.
    I get the most done at my kitchen table. I’ve tried writing outside and it’s always too bright or windy or beautiful or distracting. If I’m trying to capture a sensation though, I try to go where I might experience that. But I can write almost anywhere the mood strikes.
    I’ve got receipts with ideas and sequences on the back because I didn’t have paper.
    I also have to have my notebook and pen next to my bed. I always seem to work things out while I’m sleeping.

    Reply
  393. Eva Ulian

    Loved reading where everyone writes but wouldn’t it be something if everyone posted a link to where you hang out. This happened with some writers in an article in The Guardian which I blogged about- find link here http://evaulian-thebestoftheworst.blogspot.com/2008/05/95-writers-rooms.html

    That was about a year ago. I’ve since changed my computers and you can see an update version of my writing space here: http://www.freewebs.com/evaulian/index.htm?archived=1

    Anyone else have a link to their writing space?

    Reply
  394. Genny

    Either on my laptop at my kitchen table, or coffee shops. I definitely prefer coffee shops, though. There’s one not too far from my house that has a fireplace, plays good music, and is always filled with great people. I feel like it’s a little version of Cheers…everyone knows your name there. Great coffee, too.

    Reply
  395. Toni Kenyon

    Tucked up in bed with my laptop and a nice steaming hot cup of tea.

    Or, down at the beach, the old fashioned way with pen and paper. There you will find me sitting on a comfortable park bench under an old pohutakawa tree (New Zealand Christmas tree) gazing out to sea when the words won’t come.

    Reply
  396. Anatole

    I have to be at home, and at a computer. The words come into my head so fast that I can’t keep up with them with a pencil and paper, and if I write in public, I feel like I’m showing off. Peace and no noise (whatsoever) is a must.

    Reply
  397. Anonymous

    I have tons of spiral notebooks hidden in every room and every car I frequent. I like to fill up three or four notebooks before I start staying up into the early AM transfering everything to my laptop. My two year old and my dogs don’t really allow me to use my office. But I have one of those too!

    Reply
  398. Hywela Lyn

    I have become so computer orientaed that the words flow much faster and easier for me on the screen. I have a small bedroom set up as an office, and that’s where I write in the winter.

    In the summer (not very long in the UK) I take my laptop out into the garden which is so relaxing and peaceful and usually puts my muse in a good mood.

    I love writing outdoors and will use a pen and paper if the laptop isn’t with me, and I find myself in a secluded spot, but then it takes a long time deciphering my almost illegible scrawl!

    Reply
  399. Emily

    Ideally I write in complete silence and solitude, which only happens late at night. Since I don’t have a laptop and limited time, I’ve learned to write whenever I can steal a minute (I don’t like long hand because I write as fast as I think) and often play music specific to the main character to drown out noise. I work out a lot of scenes in my sleep, but unfortunately my most eloquent statements come in that hazy moment between wakefulness and sleep.

    Reply
  400. Hildegarde512

    At my desk, almost always. The more frightening question would be “where do you get your ideas?” This almost always includes zoning out while driving. So far all parties are injury free, but I may have inspired some road rage. Sorry.

    Reply
  401. Christa

    As long as my laptop is with me, and a plug is nearby, I can write anywhere with minimal distraction. I prefer the quiet of home, whether in the living room or out on the lanai (yes I live in FL).

    I like hanging at the bookstore to people watch, but could never write with a bunch of people bustling about.

    Reply
  402. starduster

    I write and revise on my computer in the corner of the dining room with a window that looks out at Mt. Lemmon with landscape of saugaro cactuses and desert wildlife…no kidding. Coyotes, wild rabbits, quail, doves, javelinas and cardnials and dozens of sparrows. I always carry pen and paper with me wherever I go.

    Reply
  403. Nancy Keim Comley

    From New Hope, Pennsylvania. My favorite place to write when no one else is home is our family/ play room / everything room. The walls are mostly window and I look out at our small farm. I have seen everything from a fox chasing a mouse to geese strutting to the pond flooding. Also, our Wifi doesn’t reach into that room so when stuck I have to work through a problem rather than check my email or wander to YouTube.
    Beauty that keep my nose to the grindstone, the perfect combination.

    Reply
  404. Pinkie

    I set up a desk in my living room, but rarely write there. I like the kitchen table late at night. We have a huge window and I love the connection to the outside world. I also like to sit in the Laz-E-Boy, with the footrest extended and type away.

    But I have a question for all the writers. It has taken me a long time to accept that I prefer to write on my computer, rather than with a pen and paper. I haven’t read a writing book in ages, but the ones I remember always stressed the importance of that physical connection to the written word that is achieved with pen and paper. I wonder if we’ve entered into a new era where most writers prefer to write on laptops and if we’re losing anything by abandoning writer’s cramp. I also wonder if we’ve gained anything as well via laptop writing that perhaps isn’t available to us thru writing with pen and paper. I love the speed with which I can write on the computer and I love the editing process as well on the computer.

    I like to hear how others feel about this.

    Thanks.
    CPK

    Reply
  405. Melissa McInerney

    I have a lovely office on the top floor of our mountain home, it looks out over the mountains and usually does the trick. If I get stuck or lonely, I go to our little library or the local coffee shop, although I tend to run into a lot of friends there and get distracted!

    Reply
  406. Kate

    I have a laptop, which fits in my handbag, so that is with me 24/7. I write everywhere, but especially on the train to and from work. Then – if i’m not oo exhausted, I write in bed at home. I must always have music though. Writing to silence is not my thing.

    I do have a dedicated library at home for writing, however, my flatmate keeps using it to ‘surf the net’, which has just slightly upset my Feng Shui with the room. I really must talk to her about that – becuase it’s an amzing room that overlooks my garden.

    Reply
  407. Missy

    I have small children, so I am more or less tethered to home. In winter months I write in my bed while the kids are taking their nap. I’m lucky, and it’s a good three hours of peace and quiet. In the summer I sit out on my front porch, watch the world go by, listen to the birds sing, and hope inspiration stikes.

    Reply
  408. TFree

    A room devoid of windows and any sound not initiated by me. Also no internet.

    I have distractibility issues.

    Reply
  409. Mirella Sichirollo Patzer

    For every day, I write anywhere I can by carrying around my Alphasmart.

    My favourite escape is a little nook in the Georgetown Inn in Canmore Alberta. The antique/Victorian surroundings really soothe and inspire me.

    Reply
  410. Chrissy

    I write the best in my bathroom. I’ve got small children, so it’s the only place I can escape to. Once they’re in bed, I soak in the tub, and write. It’s relaxing the creativity just flows.

    Reply
  411. Alicia Walker

    So fun to hear where everyone finds their inspiration. I especially liked the idea of writing while getting a pedicure. Nice!

    I write from the right side of my bed with my laptop resting on one of those ultra-comfy e-pads (you can buy them from Brookstone). I also have four large windows without coverings that showcase a spectacular view of the woods in my backyard. There’s a whole lot of inspiration coming from those trees.

    And with a bag of Ghiradelli chocolates on my nightstand, it’s a heavenly place to write.

    If you like to see where I stand in my writing career, you can visit https://www.mindifiwrite.blogspot.com

    Happy Writing People!

    Reply
  412. Dale - Las Vegas

    I have a desk in my living room where I write on my HP computer.
    It’s sure a long way from where I first started out over 60 years ago with a pencil and yellow lined notepad.
    Then came the Remington non-electric typewriter followed by the IBM Selectric.
    Sure changed a lot over the years.

    Reply
  413. Susan Gabriel

    At a coffee shop in Fort Collins, Colorado called La Dolce Vita. I always order a pot of organic Assam tea. It’s the best.

    Reply
  414. Sun Up

    I don’t have a laptop, let alone a computer, so I’ll write just about anywhere really. I just need my pen, my paper and some gumption.

    Reply
  415. DMBeucler

    I have a whole office dedicated to working from home (and writing which is part of that)…. I don’t write there. I write on a antique laptop (Pentium III anyone?) usually sitting on the bed in the mornings listening to directors comments on DVD’s. There is something about hearing someone else dissecting their work that puts me in a creative mood.

    Reply
  416. Jared

    At the moment I am writing at work. I work in the dark confines of a prison as a Correctional Officer. I am waiting for a housing unit I am working in to open… so for now, I have 12 hours of free time to write my new YA novel.

    Reply
  417. Anonymous

    I like to write, after work, at the kitchen table facing the tv (I like the moving pictures but the volume is usually low). Sadly I work best after work because my mind is numb from the day and needs to be unleashed.

    I edit on my lunch breaks at work. I don’t write well at work but editing comes easy.

    Even when I become the HUGE author I plan on being, I guess I’ll still have to have a dreaded day job. Pity.

    Reply
  418. Anonymous

    I write at my computer on the desk in my living room; but one of my favorite places is at this cool bar I visit once in a while. I love the mix of new characters to give me inspiration.

    Reply
  419. Lisa

    I write at my dining room table; a table that stretches out so long I have a fantasy of having dinner with my husband sitting at the far end, wearing a tux, pouring a luscious red wine, and speaking in a British accent. But, that would never happen, because if we ever sat down to a meal that far apart, he would instantly grab a sheet of paper, fold it into a tiny triangle and launch a game of paper football. The table is perched at the level of nearby skyscrapers, smack dab in the middle of a room defined by floor to ceiling windows penetrated by grey skies and, most days, rain. But, rain is good. Rain equals work, because when the sun finally decides to make an appearance, it shows up big, like a drag queen dressed to the hilt in disco ball silver, so blinding that I can’t see my screen. It’s like taking your laptop to the beach in Cancun, the white sand itself enough to diminish vision. But, above is better than below, though not in the smug way it sounds. In college, I wrote from below. My distractions weren’t seagulls flying dangerously close to my windows or hovering bumblebees so fat and velvety they look as though they’re wearing bumblebee costumes. Rather, they were hairy ankles dressed in hairier socks, mud encrusted Doc Martins, and black Artic Cat snow boots tracking their way past my window, each step crunching the snow like 200 teeth simultaneously biting into the tight skins of apples. They were eerie cats staring from predatory positions, which could have gone unnoticed had it not been for the prickling sensation that always inched up my neck, tipping me off. They were the black bellies of spiders scaling a well stocked web or a stray French fry container blowing across the tips of the grass like a beach ball bouncing off the outstretched fingers of a rock concert crowd, the crumpled yellow burger wrapper following closely behind. And, the always unnerving frat boy peeking in my window, his head turned upside down in the exact position of the child snatcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. So, I’ll take my super sized table set near the never-ending acoustics of rain pounding against my window, which begins as something symphonic, but ends like mallets playing my skull like a xylophone, any day over a close up of the animal world; and, by animal, I mean frat boy.

    Reply
  420. Anonymous

    Incredibly, I wrote my best when I spent four months in homeless shelters. That’s when most of my book was written. There’s nothing like severely limited computer time and vaguely threatening people breathing down your neck to accelerate the creative process. Not to mention the really scary staff who’d cut you off if you did anything but search for housing. I barely wasted a minute surfing or chatting online with people I’d never met. I don’t write as consistently now that I’m sitting at my own nice desk with a view of the mountains. Not that I’d trade back 😀

    Reply
  421. The Writing Muse

    My office, my car, the bathroom…wherever inspiration hits.

    Reply
  422. Anonymous

    I can make notes anywhere and at any time; half asleep in total darkness, on the beach half blinded by sun and blown up sand, even in a plane – shaken and stirred by turbulence!
    But when I write, I need my computer, desk, dusty books of wisdom and organized trash around me.

    Reply
  423. Kathryn Magendie

    In my study with a view of the smokies.

    When it’s warm, on my porch, with a view of the smokies.

    ahhhh….

    Reply
  424. Anonymous

    Depends on what I am writing. If a features/news article, children’s book, or objective and factual information then in my “work” clothes and in a coffeeshop/restaurant like Panera is great. Otherwise, at the desk in our office.

    If writing a fiction piece, or very introspective essay/article then in my creating room, sitting on the guest bed with my laptop.

    Reply
  425. Kristina

    I have to write at home only. Usually on the couch with my laptop. I recently moved to FL from WI, to a building beside the ocean. The ocean! And you would think I would write from the balcony overlooking the gorgeous view, but alas, inside the house with as little noise and distraction as possible is the only way the muse will come out. I’m sure if you put a couch in a cardboard box with a lamp I’d be in my perfect writing space. Oh, I must also chew on something crunchy to help my train of thought chug along. Neurotic?

    Reply
  426. The Writer

    This is my comment on here …

    We moved to a small and pretty village, have an old house and a den, something I’ve always wanted. It’s painted in refreshing blues which remind me of my travel days. My partner is building me a summer house at the bottom of our woodland garden and I shall buy a table and chair and sit here and write too; it overlooks a derelict apple orchard, and around the summerhouse will be flowers – all refreshingly inspirational! Lesley : 0 )

    Reply
  427. JustineHedman

    I like to write anywhere I can hook up my computer, but pen and paper work just as well for me so when I’m on the fly I keep those in my purse- just in case. While I’m driving I take along my trusty recorder and talk to myself as long as the babies aren’t in the back of the car yelling. Scary to think my husband is right! I do always write no matter what!

    Reply
  428. Anonymous

    My favorite place to write is in nature. At a nice park sitting by a tree, or up in the mountains. However, I rarely get that chance. I will ultimately write where ever and when ever an idea strikes. Whether that be in school, at the library, home in bed, or anywhere else.

    Reply
  429. Paullina_Petrova

    I have two children. Writing while they are awake is hard, I would say even impossible. In the beginning I wrote at night – at home. Then when I started to faint from exhaustion, I decided that I'll write during the day. I changed my daily schedule and now I write until noon, after leaving the kids to school. I found a cafe near the school. With many clients and very noisy. But with headphones on my ears, with fast internet, good coffee and secluded booth – this is a great place for writing.

    Reply
  430. Steven E. Belanger

    No permanent place in awhile; driving me nuts. Recently I wrote 8 handwritten pages (turned out to be 10 d.s. typed pages) in a notebook while curled up in a big chair in my living room while my better half watched television. Tried to do that today–nada. I edited well at work last week; not this week. The office at home doesn't do it for me anymore. Sigh. Drives ya crazy.

    Reply

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ABOUT NATHAN

Hi, I’m Nathan. I’m the author of How to Write a Novel and the Jacob Wonderbar series, which was published by Penguin. I used to be a literary agent at Curtis Brown Ltd. and I’m dedicated to helping authors chase their dreams. Let me help you with your book!

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