where writers write

A Revolving Shed and Other Strange Places Classic Books Were Written

One day, after years of reading Bookstr’s articles, you may sit down and write a novel of your own. But where? It might be anywhere from a quiet, secluded garden hut to a bustling café surrounded by troves of coffee hunters. The stories we read are influenced by the surroundings in which they were written, be it their landscape, soundscape, or time of day. Many great writers find their creative comfort sitting at a desk, whereas other literary luminaries venture beyond this traditional perch and create their own ideal writing spots. Here are a few notable locations where your favourite novels, poems, or short stories were written.



Who? George Bernard Shaw.

What? Pygmalion.

Where? A custom-made rotating hut in his yard.


First on our list isn’t the most peculiar spot I’ve heard of. But that doesn’t take away from how awesome it is. Like most of Shaw’s work, Pygmalion was written in a custom-made rotating hut on the grounds of his home in Hertfordshire, UK. Shaw liked to write in the line of sunlight, so he designed a work space that could be manually maneuvered from the inside in order to keep himself in the sun’s path. The hut was called “London,” which continued as a sort of running joke in his household so that whenever someone was looking for him, they would be met with the honest-yet-deceptive answer, “in London.” We unearthed a photo of this hut to show you guys:


George's Hut

Image Via Wikipedia



Who? Wallace Stevens.

What? Poetry.

Where? In transit.


Stevens' Home

Image Via WikimediaCommons


Master stylist and poetic craftsman Wallace Stevens composed poetry between his doorstep pictured above and the Hartford Accident and Imdemnity Insurance Co., where he worked as vice president. The American modernist poet commented on his place of creative comfort, saying, “I write best when I can concentrate, and do that best while walking.” In his poem “Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction,” which was published in 1942 and is roundly considered Stevens’ best poem on the nature and definition of poetry, he makes an assertion in the opening stanza of the seventh section, which reads: “Perhaps / The truth depends on a walk around a lake, / A composing as the body tires…” His creative process makes a lot of sense. Some of my best ideas come to me while I’m out walking or cycling around, which is about the only time I don’t have a pen and paper at my expense. Oops.



Who? Dame Edith Sitwell.

What? Poetry.

Where? Coffin.


Edith Sitwel

Image Via Wikipedia


British poet and critic Edith Sitwel (1887-1964) had a ritual of lying down before she set pen to paper. Rather than reclining on a bed or a couch, though, she chose to climb into an open coffin. A COFFIN. In those morbidly tight quarters, the eccentric poet found inspiration for her work and published over twenty collections of poetry. One thing is certain, this doesn’t sit well with me.



Who? Sir Walter Scott.

What? His poem “Marmion.”

Where? On horseback.



Image Via Pinterest


Scottish poet, historian, novelist, and biographer Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) crafted “Marmion,” his bestselling epic poem on horseback in the undulating hills near Edinburgh, Scotland. Scott is considered to be the inventor and greatest practitioner of the historical novel. Though one might assume a leisurely pace is necessary for creative concentration atop a horse, Scott preferred to contemplate the lines of the poem at a faster clip. “I had many a grand gallop among these braes when I was thinking of ‘Marmion,’” he recalled. The image I have in my head of this man jotting down ideas about his emotional ties to Scotland whilst galloping is both absurd and also very, very badass.



Who? William Faulkner.

What? As I Lay Dying.

Where? A power plant.


Faulkner (1897-1962): American author, winner of the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature, and a creative unmatched for his extraordinary structural and stylistic resourcefulness and persistence in exploring fundamental human questions. Said to have been somewhat incapable of holding onto sobriety and employment, Faulkner worked a night shift at a power plant after being forced to resign from another job at the University of Mississippi in order to make ends meet, and it was at this plant that he wrote his novel As I Lay Dying. Seeing as the power plant did not burn down and the novel became a world-renowned classic, the author’s toilings at 3 a.m. were all worth it.



Image Via Gulflive.com


Are you inspired yet?


Feature Image Via Kibin