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Where to Write a Novel

Updated on April 13, 2013
"Books are the mirrors of the soul." Virginia Woolf
"Books are the mirrors of the soul." Virginia Woolf | Source

A Room of One's Own

As an avid reader, I know the importance of a space separate from the world in which I can immerse myself in what I'm reading. The same goes with writing. Even though I am able to do each of these actions out in public or in front of the television, when I am really feeling those creative juices flowing, I need that escape to keep those thoughts safe until I get them down.

Virginia Woolf famously said that "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction" (A Room of One's Own, 1929). Although this article is intended for both male and female writers out there, her quote sums up my shared belief that the best writers have spaces of their own to create. This is why I believe that deciding on where to write a novel is just as important as knowing what to write a novel about.

Everyone's ideal location for where to write a novel is different. Some feel that sitting on the bench in public or at a busy cafe surrounded by all sorts of energy and hustle really gets their wheels turning and keeps them from the distractions of home. Others, however, need a quiet space where they can make messes or keep order on their own terms away from any interruptions. This article is intended for those falling under the latter category who are in search for suggestions on where to write a novel.

Ernest Hemingway's writing desk in Key West
Ernest Hemingway's writing desk in Key West | Source

More Ideas for Where to Write a Book

Writing Rooms

Do you have your own space for writing?

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Write Space

As I already mentioned, everyone's ideal location for where to write a novel is different. This is especially the case for those who desire to create a write space at home. My current write space is on my bed, using a flat screen television as a monitor, with my keyboard on my lap and my dog curled up on my feet, keeping them nice and toasty. It is slightly uncomfortable and not at all my choice but, since my ideal writing spots are almost always solitary, it is perfect in my current living situation.

While there are many factors to take into account when creating a place where you can write a novel, I have narrowed it down to just five main ones to help you get started. Believe me, it may not seem so important, but, now I have lost my own write space for over a year, I feel the pain of loss and I miss it oh so dearly every time I sit down to type. They are worth the effort and make it so much easier to sit down and write, even on those days you really don't want to.

1. Writing Tools

One essential point to keep in mind when considering where to write a novel is what writing tools you use. Some writers use a good old pen/pencil and paper, others use computers, still more use laptops or tablets, and yet another group use just their cellular phone. This may not seem like too big a deal but what tools you use help determine other important factors like storage needs and location.

2. Location

Write spaces can be pretty much anywhere. For example, they can be a bedroom, an office, a basement, or even under your favorite tree in your backyard. I personally like the idea in the video to the right of making a fort to write in. The question "where to write a novel" is just as much about the individual as "what to write a novel about." It's all about your own taste and what suits you best.

3. Comfort

The next most important aspect of your writing space is comfort. Bring in that favorite chair as your writing throne or buy new comfy pillows for your bed to ensure feeling relaxed as you write a novel. This way, when you are up long hours finishing those last few pages, you won't feel distracted by discomfort. Plus, it makes your writing space more irresistible on those days you just don't feel like writing at all.

4. Personalize it

What do you want to use to personalize it? You can use posters, photographs, souvenirs, or just about anything else just to add a touch of you to the space to really make it your own. Paint the walls your favorite color or bring in that furniture your boyfriend wishes you would get rid of already but you just can't let go. Whatever makes you walk in and feel comfortably you should go in this space so that it always feels like home.

5. Set Boundaries

Sometimes where you have decided to write a novel isn't always just your space. If you share it with someone else, find out just how much of the space you can make your own without going too far. The most important factor is creating a time frame for when you need the space, such as an hour or two after work or first thing in the morning, that works with the other occupant's schedule.

If the space is completely your own, make sure and let anyone else know whether they are allowed to use it at any time or when not to disturb you. This ensures that you do not get distracted with interruptions while writing. Also, for people like me who are a little OCD about their space, it helps to know when others use it so that when things are moved or missing it doesn't cause chaos.

Writing Novels

Do you think having your own space is necessary for writing?

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Writing Novels

Anne Rice says that the best advice any writer can give another when it comes to writing novels is to just write. Deciding where to write a novel is a great step in writing a book because having your own space to write is one great way to get a boost in that drive to produce a novel that you have been thinking about writing, perhaps for years. When you have your own space to escape to and you work so hard to make it your own, it makes it so much more difficult to allow yourself to skip a day or two of writing on those days you just don't feel like it.

Good luck with creating your own place to write a novel. Please feel free to share where you like to write in the comments below!

© 2013 Lisa


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    • Anaydena profile image

      Shermia Taylor 

      5 years ago from Euless, TX, USA

      @PeggyLou Its about discipline. You must have not wanted to finish it that bad if you were so worried about the horses. You could have set a plan and play with the horses first part of the day and the last part of the day work on your novels - or vice versa, but next time try to think long term.

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran - The Write Stuff 

      6 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Excellent hub, Lisa. For me, the most important thing is that it be a "room without a view." Avoids distractions

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      6 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great hub! I agree totally with you, I think a writer needs a solitary space so s/he can write in solitude. I need quiet and solitude to write and I cannot multi-task or have the TV or radio on to write. I must be alone with my thoughts. I write on my table in my family room positioned to look out the patio doors to see the small postage stamp lot I have as I live in a condo. But, it is my little vision of the world and quite pretty, especially in the summer with the trees and grass and the container garden I put out on the patio. The beach and sea/ocean always inspire me to write also. Sometimes, I take a journal to the beach, but mostly I just take in the beauty and it inspires me to write something later. This is a clever idea for a hub and thank you for writing this. Your suggestions are good ones.

    • PeggyLou profile image

      Peggy Salvatore 

      6 years ago from Mid-Atlantic States US

      I rented a room at a horse farm for a month because I thought it would be helpful for me to finish one of the several books that are in different stages of completion. It was not! I so much like the horses I wanted to be with them,and then of course I spent time talking to the trainer. So after two days, I packed my bags and headed home to my nice, quiet, organized office back to my usual distractions -the laundry, vacuuming, doing the dishes- haha! I am finding the best thing to do is to try to dedicate first thing in the morning, no matter where I am, and then I get some writing done.


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