• Prompt: Your Writing Space

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in ABCs of Writing     Comments 48 comments



    Discussion question: This week’s post is a simple prompt: Write about your writing space. And share a photo with us!




    I’m writing this in my writing space. It’s a corner of a wooden table, a stack of books just behind my open laptop (current read: Two Big Differences, an excellent new novel from Ian Ross Singleton), my Rumpus “Write Like a Motherf*cker” mug next to it, atop my two writing notebooks. It’s a good space.

    We’ve done some posts before about our writing spaces, including this one, “Your Ideal Writing Space.” But that was before we could include photos in the comments section!

    You write in your writing space, but do you ever write about your writing space?

    That’s exactly what I’d like us to do here.

    You can write about your ideal writing space, or you can write about your writing space as it is. You can write about a past writing space or a future writing space. You can use detail to describe your writing space or you can dig in and write about how you feel in your writing space.

    Tell us how your writing space contributes to your writing life. Tell us about your biggest accomplishment and/or your biggest disappointment in your writing space.

    Tell us whatever you want. Just write, in your writing space, about your writing space.

    And then share a photo! Click the little icon in the lower-right corner of the comment box, choose a file, and you’re there.

    Post your prompt, read about some others, take a quick walk to refresh, and then sit back down in your writing space and write!


    WriteByNight is a writers’ service dedicated to helping you reach your creative potential. We work with writers of all experience levels working in all genres. Browse our book coachingmanuscript consultationpublication assistance services, and sign up for your free writing consultation today.

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    WriteByNight writing coach and co-founder David Duhr is fiction editor at the Texas Observer and co-host of the Yak Babies podcast, and has written about books for the Dallas Morning News, Electric Literature, Publishing Perspectives



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    The ideal writing space- a timeless vacuum where only words matter; where words are the only thing that exist. No alarm for work, no hungry fiancé, no gigantic, needy dog, no text messages from family members, no thirst, no requisite bathroom breaks… just the words. Or at least that’s what I tell myself will get me book finished. 🤣 In reality, the work space is anywhere; the aforementioned bathroom breaks when inspiration hits for that conversation I was working through, on road trips as said fiancé drives, and the dog is normally underfoot, asking me to throw the toy again… Read more »

    Stephen Glick

    David you know kind of where I live. My property is surrounded by many trees and I have a wood burner. But alas , phones and Television


    Discussion question: This week’s post is a simple prompt: Write about your writing space. And share a photo with us! I have long thought my ideal space for writing (and thinking, planning, meditating, etc) to be a study or library. Not an office, though that is the preferred term these days for any room that contains a computer and not a bed. But I’ve spent my working life in offices and the term is sterile for me. Fortunately, my wife allows me a dedicated room with built-ins in our house. It contains a computer upon which I have done business… Read more »

    Shirley Lopez

    For years I have written just about any where, any time, or any space to get my works out. Today I am proud to say for me I have the perfect space. I have a fireplace, two desks, one for the computer the other for papers. I have a bookshelf as well to place the books that I have written. And my papers stacked on my desk in the floor, all over. I never was a neat pin. The messier the better I think! I like being able to have everything in one section. It makes me feel like I… Read more »

    Shirley Lopez

    Sorry the picture did not go through when I wrote about my office.

    My office 3.jpg
    Jerry Schwartz

    Since time immemorial, my computer (a desktop) has been in my basement. It is not a finished basement; I’m on a bare concrete floor, and surrounded with shelfs stacked with the usual detritus: a bread maker; a collection of books, once organized but now random heaps; an HVAC system; and plumbing, lots of plumbing. That’s where my words are put on “paper.” Although I usually read with music playing, I cannot write (or edit my writing, nor the works of others) with music distracting me. But that’s the recording of my words. Composing them, at least in rough form, happens… Read more »

    Last edited 2 years ago by Jerry Schwartz
    Gerald I Schwartz

    If you’re talking about the shelf you see in the foreground, it really has only a few reference books. The rest is DVD blanks and stuff like that.

    The heaps of books aren’t in the picture.

    Barbara Mealer

    My writing space is slowly getting completed. With major flooding with the monsoons, needing extra help to get the sheetrock up and then an issue with using money saved for the shed going to two horses, it’s way behind schedule. On top of all of that, I’ve been working 5 days a week instead of 3 or 4, leaving little time to do the things you need to do to have a decent place to live in like cleaning, the wash, sleeping–you know–that that stuff that takes away from the things you really want to do. I will have a… Read more »

    david lemke

    I love my big cluttered office; thousands of books, two computers (actually 4 if you include 2 laptops, one for Sue and one I travel with,) two desks 2 comfortable chairs, and a credenza, painted the color I chose, decorated with items I chose. It’s a mess, but apparently I don’t care much about that, as long as I can find what I need and it doesn’t interfere with my writing. My main computer has all my writing and has an external back up hard drive. I store nothing on the cloud. My second computer is an old obsolete one… Read more »

    office with chair.jpg
    Jerry Schwartz

    Irrelevant comment, perhaps, but you should consider cloud backup. You don’t want to come back after a flood or fire to find a ruined computer and a ruined hard drive sitting next to it. Despite the local redundancy, it’s a single point of failure.

    Elissa Malcohn

    (Transcribed) My writing space is currently at the height of Mess. It’s never been neat, but it’s usually less inundated than it is now. That being said, my focus during the act of writing is on either the screen, a distant wall (covered with photos and art), or the wooden statue I call Bodhisattva, a gift from a dear friend and mentor who died at the cusp of spring and summer 2016. I write this on my tablet, which serves as my traveling writing desk in such places as waiting rooms. It also serves when I leave my usual typing aside and resort… Read more »

    Elissa Malcohn

    Yep, that was the sweet little house I rented in Woburn. To the left, out of frame, was the mattress on the floor where I slept. One of the items I hung on a non-slanted wall in that room was a framed copy of Escher’s “Rind,” identical to this: ?1405551377 On that TRS-80 II computer with its 8-inch floppy disks I wrote “Lazuli,” my first story sale (earlier stories had been published but not sold), which appeared in Asimov’s in Nov. 1984. Get a load of its completely coincidental cover. If you look behind those plastic-upholstered chairs in the 1970 attic shot,… Read more »

    Elissa Malcohn

    I don’t know what happened to it after I went off to college. By that time I had inherited my mother’s electric Smith-Corona, whose ink came in cartridges. The ad here (probably a newer model than what I had, given the date, but the same basic design) is b&w, but the typewriter was robin’s egg blue:


    it would have to be “spaces” for me…in the plural. Sometimes it’s my dining room table, sometimes it’s the sofa with my dog at my side, and occasionally, it actually happens—the writing, that is—at my desk. When I first moved into this condo four years ago, I set up a table in the finished basement. It was tidy, the computer at hand, the files ready to receive my outpouring of prose and memoir. But no, it’s dark there and it didn’t work. I go where there’s light. And, I do need quiet. I envy those who can write amidst music,… Read more »


    My ideal writing space is my mind palace. Yes, I totally stole that from BBC’s Sherlock Holmes. In all seriousness, I can write anywhere. It can be in a car waiting for school drop-off/pickup, at my desk in a quiet house or sitting under a covered chair on a soccer field. I even do so when running. Vibrant, detailed scenes will come out of nowhere demanding my attention and the dialogue follows. I just keep replaying and developing it until I’m in a position to write on my phone. But nothing happens with music. Music is the catalyst to transport… Read more »


    Completely agree, great point. I probably should look into a notes app but I currently send emails to myself to save ideas. It really helps to keep positive momentum and I’m not locked into a small window where “I have to write.” I don’t work efficiently under time/subject restrictions. The material comes to me when it’s supposed to, my job is capturing it.

    Jerry Schwartz

    Look into Evernote. It synchs across platforms, so you can jot down ideas on your phone and see them on your computer (and vvs.). I believe they still have a free version.


    Thanks Jerry! I’ll check it out. Best wishes in your writing journey. :)


    My space is in that moment! I must write in the moment! The ideas that are bubbling beneath the surface must be given a path, a chanel to the page. They can rest once they reach the page and they will be their most genuine. The creativity will be captured. Whether it is the back of a bill envelope or a pack of post-its left in my bag, there must be a surface. A crayon, an old pencil or a mistakenly nabbed pen from the bank, there must be a vehicle. And I write. I write in that intangible space… Read more »

    Charles Dikmak

    I don’t have an “ideal” writing space. I have many! I just packed up my life and moved to Colorado, and find myself writing way more, as the new life, venue, everything stirs up a LOT! I have written in my car at the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa, at the stern of a pitching icebreaker off the Norwegian coast in February….I don’t have a process….I have a compulsion!….and when I am struck by the moment and it’s larger impact, I HAVE to write, it’s just gotta come out. My new writing location is on my family’s second floor… Read more »

    Charity Marie

    This is the blog posting I wrote based on this prompt. *** I woke up to a freezing cold house this morning. 65 in my bedroom. So I started my morning freezing. My body temperature dropped to 94.5 degrees (thanks, smartwatch), which is pretty darn cold. Fortunately, I’m sitting in my comfy chair with the heat on high which is helping. Heat is running to warm the house. It’s 45 degrees outside in San Antonio today. I received an email writing prompt today from my coaching service, WriteByNight and it was a prompt to write about your writing space. So… Read more »

    Charity Marie

    Hi David – sorry I forgot about the picture. I just changed things around yesterday to add a video station and move my shipping station closer. I’m going to start doing Armchair Chats with Charity once a month so keep an eye out for that! I did my first live event yesterday on Facebook and read a sample from my new release Reflections. It went really well. So I say all that to say please excuse my mess – we’re renovating! LOL

    Charity Marie

    Odd, it wouldn’t take my photo. Trying again

    Charity Marie

    Weird, still no photo.

    Charity Marie

    No error, just nothing happens when I try to add it

    Jerry Schwartz

    The website is probably picky about the file size. With today’s phones, it’s easy to take a picture that is absolutely huge. I ran into this the other day.


    My writing space is at a desktop computer in my daughter’s old bedroom, upstairs. It is away from the main family spaces so usually gives me enough privacy and quiet. I have a pet cockatiel named Jesse who also inhabits that room, to keep him away from the cats. He loves to sit on my shoulder as I write.

    Silke Chambers

    How funny! Just “pretty bird”.

    Stephen Glick

    I have written in very few places. My situation makes it difficult to write , with pen and paper. My home in my office would be 90%. There are two coffee donut shops that I have taken a writing pad and sketched out ideas.I must add that the pad ensures that I am treated as Fitzgerald or King. It always puts a big smile on my face.

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