Where Great Writers Work

What is it that so fascinates us about the lives of great writers and artists?  It seems creative prowess lends a new allure to even the most mundane topic: we wonder when they wake up in the morning, if they do so at the same time each day, when they eat, what they eat (at every meal), what they read, what type of pen they use, if they take breaks, what they do on breaks, if they wear shoes, what kind of shoes they wear, what is in their cupboards, what they wear to bed, if they make their bed...the list goes on.  

Perhaps our interest is due to the creative person's originality; creative success is never formulaic, so those who manage to achieve it cannot do so without a certain level of self-posession.  In this sense, the nature of the task is inextricably linked to its product.  To quote the ever-more eloquent Oscar Wilde, "Art is the most intense mode of Individualism that the world has known."  Even those hesitant to generalize would be hard pressed to think of an alternative.  For these reasons and certainly more, the succession of images that follows, many of an empty room, may be the most thrilling thing you see all day.

Mark Twain, source

Charles Dickens, source

Susan Sontag, source

Woody Allen, source

Roald Dahl, source

Seamus Heaney, source

Alain de Botton, source

Charlotte Bronte, source

George Bernard Shaw, source

Virginia Woolf, source

Jane Austen, source

E.B. White, source

John Updike, source

Joyce Carol Oates, source

and here's a great video from Tate of Maurice Sendak at his home workspace: