A Writer’s Space

“Writing is an art form, and all artists need a place to brainstorm and ponder their ideas – both mentally and physically. ‘A Writer’s Space: Make a Room to Dream, to Work, to Write’ recognizes this fact and gives advice for writers on how to create this space. Finding one’s inner muse, optimizing one’s time with the pen or keyboard, and creating both an office and rituals are all topics covered in this fine guide for any artist, whether with literary goals or not. ‘A Writer’s Space: Make a Room to Dream, to Work, to Write’ is highly recommended for community library writing and publishing collections.” – Midwest Book Review

“Similar in pacing to my books Writer Mama and Get Known, A Writer’s Space is written in short, easy-to-absorb chapters that make it easier to squeeze into a busy schedule like mine.

“Since we’ve recently moved into a new home, I was primed for a discussion of how a writer carves out a room of his or her own. But I was delighted to discover that this book covers the deeper implications of the topic of space, and not merely the challenges of arranging our physical world. Of course it does, since A Writer’s Space is written by counselor, therapist, and coach Eric Maisel, whose other incredibly helpful books include A Life in the Arts and Toxic Criticism.

“I think when Eric Maisel writes on these kinds of topics, where he has clearly established a wealth of expertise based on many years of experience and study, he writes at his best. Like a true master, he is able to offer readers many thoughtful take-aways without ever seeming condescending or belying how many times he must have covered this same territory without becoming weary of it. In fact, many chapters on what might otherwise be dry topics are playfully literary in the hands of such a skillful writer in his own right.

“If you have not had a chance to pick up, A Writer’s Space by Eric Maisel, PH.D I highly recommend it, especially for the writer who is having difficulty establishing enough ‘space’ to get his or her writing done in a way that is satisfying and fulfilling.” – Christina Katz, Writer Mama

“One of the reasons I picked up A Writer’s Space ~ Make Room to Dream, to Work, to Write is because it was written by Dr. Eric Maisel, the author of one of my all-time favorite inspirational nonfiction books, A Writer’s Paris. I was also curious to see what he had to say about writing spaces, the birthplace of every book in existence.

“The first 10 chapters of the book address the physical writing space, as well as how to find, regard, respect, manage and protect it. Lots of good advice as well as several exercises at the end of every section to help put theory into action (don’t be intimidated by the number of chapters; they’re short and the book is only 248 pages in length.)

While reading I learned that I’m not alone in needing a very small, completely uncluttered place to write; evidently Amy Tan has the same problem.

“Dr. Maisel mentioned some other, interesting famous writer quirks: James Joyce preferred to write in bed; Isaac Asimov had several typewriters set up on tables around his office (one for each project). Alice Hoffman goes so far as to paint her office a different color every time she starts a new book, using a shade that resonates with the book’s theme (good thing this isn’t my little quirk.)

“The next 25 chapters of the book, however, deal with the writing spaces less apparent to the rest of the world: mind, emotional, reflective, imagined, public, and even existential. Here Dr. Maisel discusses things most writers wrestle with in private, like envy, depression, dissatisfaction, coping with rejection, the weight of individuality (chapter 16, the story of my life) and how destructive they can be to the writer as well as the work if left unchecked.

“Chapters 26-28 deals with how the writer should handle public spaces (for blogging writers, that’s the internet) and this is where I thought Dr. Maisel was being a bit naive at times. He encourages the writer to stand up, speak out, and not be so nice while he downplays (or really isn’t aware of) the risks involved for today’s working writer. Here I would have liked to see a couple of chapters on how to handle those brave, usually anonymous souls who decide you and your public-accessible space are their personal soapbox, punching bag or restroom. Aside from that one blip, the book is quite good, which I expected, and chock full of new ways and means of dealing with all these different writer spaces, which I didn’t.– Lynn Viehl, Paperback Writer


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