This month, our writing group is answering the question Where do you write? I wrote much of my first novel, A New Map of the Universe, in the gorgeous domed reading room at the State Library of Victoria or my then-local library, St Kilda library, which is shaped, rather snazzily, like an open book. My second novel, Whisky Charlie Foxtrot, was written largely at the State Library of Western Australia. I wrote in public places mostly to overcome the isolation of spending all day every day alone at home. It also helped me resist the temptation of letting domestic duties eat into my writing time.
With a school-aged child, my writing day is short. I don’t want to waste even half an hour travelling to a library. And I am well-trained by now to ignore the siren song of bed-making, breakfast dishes, and piles of washing. So I write from home. I have a nice big desk, sandwiched between two ubiquitous Expedit shelving units from Ikea. (Cube shapes! So perfect for storing any darn thing you can think of!)
As you can see, I’m a little bit of a notebook fiend. My vintage typewriter was a gift from my husband. One of the central characters from my current work-in-progress is a monkey, so I couldn’t resist this little wooden mascot. My stack of Paris Reviews are partly for reference but mostly for motivation – oh to be printed in those hallowed pages!
Above my desk I have a collection of images including photos (my husband as a child, my son as a toddler, myself in the bygone era when I looked fantastic in footy shorts), movie posters (Lost in Translation, Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love), my as-yet unused membership card from the Brooklyn Art Library (from when I participated in the Sketchbook Project), cards and postcards from dear friends, my son’s drawings and other images which delight or inspire me.
Next month I will be the writer-in-residence at the Fellowship of Australian Writers WA. I look forward to seeing what I can create in this new writing space.
Follow the links below to read about other writers’ spaces:
I write in a backyard studio that was once the storeroom for the shop. It’s a comfortable, messy, unglamorous space filled with books and maps, postcards and photographs, archive boxes and filing cabinets and hundreds of manila folders... Read more from Amanda Curtin.
Sitting at the same desk all day can make me go a bit crazy. If I feel like that, I take a walk around Lake Monger, or sit on our small terrace and read an unrelated novel. I also like to work in cafes in my local area, just to get me out and about… Read more from Emma Chapman.
Before I had an office, I’d write at the kitchen table, or with my laptop on my knees in bed, but I like the feeling now of entering a new physical and emotional space when I sit down at my desk… Read more from Dawn Barker
I write in the lounge room, in my bedroom, at the dining table, at the cafe, at the library, on the train, sitting outdoors, sitting indoors, swinging in the hammock, and very, very occasionally in my designated writing space, aka our study… Read more from Sara Foster
I have one entire wall covered in bookshelves because I love sharing my space with all these wonderful words. How can I not aspire to greatness when I have Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte and Margaret Atwood sitting just within reach? … Read more from Natasha Lester