Writing Spaces: Where 9 Famous Creatives Do Their Best Work

Writing Spaces: Where 9 Famous Creatives Do Their Best Work

Where’s your favorite place to write?

Does your writing space help you be productive and stay organized?

If you need some inspiration, check out the writing spaces and environments of these famous artists, writers and storytellers.

1. E.B. White, author

Sometimes all you need is a comfortable desk with a view of the outdoors for inspiration. (Ideally, near a farm with plenty of interesting animals, including a few spiders.)

Image: e.b. White

Image credit

2. Jane Austen, author

This table may be tiny, but it supported the creation of her later works, including Emma, Persuasion, and a revision of Pride and Prejudice.

Image: Jane Austen

Image credit

3. Mark Twain, author

When you’re struggling to write, sometimes taking a break can help get your creative juices flowing. Perhaps a game of pool would inspire some ideas?

Image: Mark Twain

Image credit


4. Nigella Lawson, chef and food writer

When you’re looking for inspiration, having all your favorite books within arm’s reach certainly can’t hurt.

Image: Nigella Lawson

Image credit

5. Steve Jobs, inventor

Jobs was well-known minimalist. He described one home by saying, “All you needed was a cup of tea, a light, and your stereo.”

Image: Steve Jobs

Image credit

6. Virginia Woolf, author

This simple desk and chair overlooking the outdoors were ideal for writing, at least in the summer. Woolf noted that this converted toolshed was so cold in the winter that she couldn’t hold a pen!

Image: Virgina Woolf's Desk

Image credit

7. Tina Fey, author and comedian

Were you wondering about the workspace that may have inspired 30 Rock, Mean Girls or Bossypants?

Image: Tina Fey

Image credit

8. Chip Kidd, book cover designer

Many artists find their creative inspiration in other books, authors and stories.

Image: Chip Kidd

Image credit

9. George Bernard Shaw, playwright

Keep it simple with a typewriter, a clean white desk and a small window in a private place. That last one was key for Shaw, who once confessed, “People bother me. I came here to hide from them.”

Image: George Bernard Shaw

Image credit

What’s your favorite place to write?

Filed Under: Craft


  • Taking a note from Virginia Wolf I made a writing space of my own in the living room. I opened up one half a gate leg table and placed it by a window. There’s a fireplace behind me, and at Christmas time I place the tree in front of my working space. When I’m feeling blue or uninspired I can turn on the fire or the Christmas tree lights and feel comforted. I also have an antique typewriter (1920s) that still works on a credenza close by that reminds me how it used to be done. I thank my lucky stars for computers.

  • Great article. I love doing most of my writing time in coffee shops and in my home office space, even though there are a lot of distractions around. It’s great that my boss allowed me to work from home and in wherever I wish to do my job. I asked my boss to grant me such work flexibility because I really can’t focus a lot doing my job in an office space for rent that my boss have been renting for two years. Last week, my boss informed me about the possible office relocation that might take place in the first week of July this year. We’re in Cebu City, Philippines. Does anyone here has an idea on how and where we could fine an appropriate office space for rent in Cebu City?

  • Samuelml says:

    Всем привет кто ищет знакомства то тут https://vk.com/club59084660 очень много именно симпатичных девушек и не только, всем парням советую!!!!!!!

  • I sat down on my bed one day just to write an outline. Four days later I discovered I was still there and had several chapters completed. My motley collection of forgiving Great Danes informed me that it was time to expand my horizons.
    Tunnel Vision.

  • Very cool to see how everyone works differently.

    For me, it’s all about mobility. I’ve done some of my best work in airports and coffee shops. It’s all about changing my environment to change my state of mind.

    And I actually work better with the humdrum of life spinning around me. Silence often stifles my creativity, as I will inevitably find myself philosophizing.


  • Young Aspiring Writer says:

    Being young, (young enough to not have a place of my own) it’s hard to find a quiet place and time even to write. I prefer my room so I can turn my music up as loud as I want and I just block out everything. It’s in the corner of my house. It’s as reserved as I’m going to get.

    -Young Aspiring Writer

    • Sounds like that’s a good option — hopefully you’re one of the writers who’s able to concentrate with music!

      Great point about the challenges of not being able to control your environment.

      TWL Assistant Editor

  • A.J. Sendall says:

    I just can’t do the window thing. I must be more easily distracted than inspired. We have wonderful views across the Mosel Valley, but I choose to write in a room in the cellar. It’s warm, (I share it with a boiler) dark, and slightly sinister.

    • Cheryl says:

      I concur. I get so easily distracted as well. That’s why I get my best work done while taking the subway to and fro home and work.

  • I have not yet established a special writing space but what I can say is that my inspiration always comes first thing in the morning after my quiet time. It is at this time I will start putting thoughts down for my blog. During the course of the day ideas will be going through my mind as to how I will go about the blog. Then I would just sit at my desk and write. I hope in not too distant a future I will have a permanent space for my writing.
    Thank you for the post it certainly got me thinking.

    • Ch says:

      I admire your perseverance and focus Mabel. For a while my writing space was on the R train during my commute from Queens, NY into downtown NY. It was very productive.

  • Barbara says:

    I live alone, so my dining table is covered with my two computers, lots of printed materials, books, flash drives, pens, paper, bills to pay, etc. – looks a real mess. Beside it is a bakers rack with the printer, supplies, folders of research, etc. I write in silence, no music, no TV, nothing.

    If I have company for dinner, we eat on trays in the living area of my tiny house – my dining table is sacrosanct.

  • Adorn says:

    I enjoy writing at my small desk, with a light as well as in my bed with pillows all around me. I must have instrumental music going.

    K-town, Germany

    • Carrie Smith says:

      Same here, Adorn! What kind of instrumental music do you listen to? I like the focus@will app as well as some random playlists on Pandora. But I’d love to learn some new ones if you want to share! 🙂

  • Desiree says:

    Love this post (I wrote that comment from my living room couch, currently my favorite place to write)

    • Kate Bales says:

      I’m with you, Desiree. On the couch, heating pad on my back, with a pit bull on either side and a cat on my lap is where I feel the most productive.

      On warm summer nights I will often sit on a recliner outside while I write under the stars. My country road has no street lights, and the only sound is the song of the coyotes on the rim rock, so it is a very peaceful way to gather my thoughts.

      I am currently working on book number 3 in the Touring With Pit Bulls series, as well as an historical novel set in the post Civil War era.

  • Tisha M. says:

    I couldn’t believe E. B. White’s writing space! A comfortable chair, how tickling! My desired writing space is a nice, quiet room with a view and soft instrumental music to keep me going. No brass, please.

  • Summer says:

    At home I sit at the dining table, next to the sunny full glass doors and windows, preferably with a vase of flowers from my garden. This is where I work when my toddler is asleep. But my preferred workspace is a local indie café half a block away, where I can enjoy a pot of chai, surrounded by bustle but not distracted by it.

  • I think I have to agree with Jane and Steve — too much around me and I get way too distracted! I like to keep my writing space as simple and clear as possible.

    Not that it always stays that way… though I pretty much do always have a cup of tea!

  • I’m with Elke, except for the music. I often have the TV set on in the background but I’m going to start using earplugs to listen to music.

  • Becca says:

    I love this! Thank you for sharing. This is my #writespace … http://www.pinterest.com/pin/10625749096383902/ 🙂

  • PJ Braley says:

    A very interesting article and the photographs were wonderful. I am inspired to rethink my current writing environment. But, I have to agree with Marcy – Jane Austen’s desk is absolutely too small. Where does she put her teacup?

    Thank you for the inspiration – and you too, Marcy…love the idea of the tiny lights.

  • Marcy McKay says:

    Loved ALL of these, but I think Jane Austen’s blew my mind the most. That TEENY-TINY table produced such masterpieces. WOW. I hung tiny white lights on my office roof to inspire creativity. I love them. Thanks for this interesting piece.

  • Elke Feuer says:

    My favorite places are the coffee shop and my bed with my back propped up with pillows, and music blaring in my ears. 🙂

Speak Your Mind

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.