The New York Times’ article on author Roxana Robinson’s writing office is typical of the New York Times — over-the-top breathless. The photo is to die for. The room is a sparsely furnished, sparsely decorated bedroom. Robinson sits on the bed and types away at her laptop, and one can imagine that she never even thinks of her surroundings, so perfectly calibrated are they to fade into unconsciousness.
If there were any justice in the world, the article will make it impossible for her to ever work in there again.
Well… no. But I compare it to my own nook and I think that Robinson has got the right idea, even if she does have a ton of money and plenty of literary cred, and even if the article makes the space look like an idealized version of the writer’s garret, like a movie set or something.
You can’t write without a room of your own, and the room itself can’t be distracting. In my pantry/laundry room, I have my computer and my pile of papers, books, and music. This is where I write and edit. It’s off the kitchen and I can close the sliding door (it gets hot but I have a fan). There are no windows. I look up and I stare at pegboard. In another life the room was a workroom. It isn’t lavish and it isn’t pretty but it gets the job done.
I don’t know what I would do with the meticulously kept office showcased in the Times. I’d probably get nothing done.
Anyway, here’s what mine looks like (and yes, off to the right, that is toasted sesame oil and supermarket-brand cheerios):
Just a little different.