The Fantasy Treehouse: Favorite Writing Spaces

Xinbeitou in all of its environmentally sustainable architecture glory, from Beitou Park.

So as I may or may not have mentioned, I have spent the month of July WRITING EVERY DAY…. just about. My initial goal was to write six days a week, and then take a break on either Saturday or Sunday, but then I started devoting my days off to blogging, and/or research interviews, etc, and then I found myself working every day and taking the occasional Wednesday-afternoon burnout break after like two weeks straight. In total in July so far, I have sat down for extended writing time on 24 out of 28 days. Written documentation of this is 2 full notebooks, and 2 more notebooks just begun.

Phew.

This has meant that progress on the book manuscript is actually moving at a decent pace, and that I am re-reading and analyzing a lot of the research I have done in the past 11 months!  I hope to keep working in this way for my last two months here, since it will be a whole heck of a lot easier to go to a Taipei library and look up an unanswered or new historical question….when living in Taipei. I do have some new people to meet and final sources to check out, but suffice it to say I have changed phases and am now putting writing first, so as to focus and optimize the rest of my research.

And this means, of course, that I need to find places to write.

Why, might you ask? Unfortunately, I have been a library and café writer for as long as I’ve been writing– I really need a room to work in, preferably with a door, my own music, and COFFEE, which is not also the room that I sleep in. And that’s that. Public spaces don’t bother me at all, in fact, I often find them more productive– the energy is nice, the presence of other people adds social pressure and makes me feel like a jerk if I spend hours on facebook or other internet surfing, and you can only drink so many cups of coffee before it is just time to call it a day (or night). Also, there is no bed, so I can’t “recline,” and inevitably, “nap.” I find that I can write at my desk in my room late at night, read and annotate sources, or to type up, edit, and scrutinize the day’s longhand-produced prose; but these are all different kinds of tasks from the daytime work. (My ideal full-time writing schedule is one daytime writing session out of the house, and one night session at my desk. But this is tricky, what with reality and life and all that jazz. And all this considering I am currently the freest I will be with my time for a looong time to come! End of writing schedule tangent.)

So here are three of my favorite places in Taipei for writing this summer, and this past month:

1) Xinbeitou Library, Xinbeitou MRT station, Taipei

I recently discovered the Xinbeitou Library, which is a branch of the Taipei Public Library System, so I have a library card and can take out books and DVDs. But even more importantly, I have a great reason to go up there early in the morning to hammer out my next round of pages: it is one of the most peaceful and beautiful workspaces I have ever seen! Photos below– nestled into the rolling mountains of Beitou District, the Xinbeitou Library is one of the first completely green and sustainable buildings in Taipei (with in theory, the highest rating of energy-saving and renewal of resources possible for a green building). It’s also gorgeous– all in wood, with breezy outdoor porches, windows everywhere for natural light, and its very own WATERFALL, cascading mineral water from the natural hot springs through the stream that runs through the Beitou Park where the library is located. I think of it as a fantasy treehouse, a lovely place where I can write, far from the distractions of noisy downtown Taipei. The other day when I was sitting on the porch outside writing in the warm wind, some squirrels traipsed down a nearby branch, and it reminded me of sitting in a tree, at home on Long Island!

I mean, there's a waterfall on the path from the park to the library! What more could you ask for?

The view from the shady, outdoor deck on the third floor. It's like you're INSIDE the tree! (Note: squirrels not included today.)

2) Salt Peanuts, ShiDa Night Market, Taipower MRT station

Some awesome local and farther-afield cafés have also allowed me a place to nestle into this month’s writing habit. Both have excellent coffee, and terrific food and other drinks. One, Salt Peanuts, is about the most hipster café I have seen in Taipei, located near the ShiDa night market– but the coffee is divine, and served on wooden block coasters, and the egg panini is basically the best egg sandwich I may have ever had. The other day I had to do some synthesizing of old and new writing together, cannibalizing my Master’s Thesis from Emerson and butchering it for parts, as well as writing those parts back into the new chapter structures. Salt Peanuts was the perfect place to throw down my stack of papers and make sense of the mess!

This is, without a doubt, one of the Top 5 cups of coffee available in Taipei. And so stylish!

To all the skeptics and naysayers it may concern: No, a Fulbright Grant is not an extended vacation; in fact, many of us work very hard and get a lot of work done. Behold, proof of verbal-induced suffering! That is all.

Please note: The displayed book "Bossypants" is not technically a research source that I will be quoting when writing about Taiwanese history. Rather, it is a "work consulted," in the interest of gaining perspective, and for enhancing and preserving sanity.

3) Orange Café, Shilin MRT station

Finally, Orange Café is near and dear to me, and I am becoming more and more of a regular there– since in addition to having great coffee and mango lassi (a healthy fruit yogurt drink that originally hails from India), they have delicious food, and also serve booze! So I’ve gone there to work for hours on a deserted Sunday morning, to write a few pages before dinner on a weekday late afternoon, and to relax over drinks with friends at night. Versatile, a little funky (but don’t let the beads fool you, it’s also more hipster than hippie), and always playing GREAT music, Orange is the new neighborhood standard of awesome writing (and hanging out) space.

To fellow Taipei-ers, where do you like to write/read/fantasize about treehouses? To fellow writers, and kindred spirit café or library workers, what do you require of your writing space? How do you get into the mood to lose yourself in your work and push the boundaries of your imagination? Please share your thoughts below!

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110 responses to “The Fantasy Treehouse: Favorite Writing Spaces

  1. borrowed bossypants from a friend when i get home and loved it. and the mysterious cups in male writers’ rooms.

    walked around the xinbeitou library area, but never went in. wish i had-looks beautiful. jiayou with your writing!

    • “You could see it when you came in the door, backlit by the afternoon sun, and at first it seemed to me like a little test. If you saw the piss jar and dared to ignore it and continue into the room, you were welcomed. Welcomed is too strong a word. You were…one of the guys? Nope, you know what? The I think about it, I’m just projecting. It couldn’t have been a test, because they really didn’t give a fuck whether you came in the room or not.” — Bossypants.

      Tina Fey is a genius. Miss you! xx

  2. good post keep posting frnd thanks 4 sharing

  3. Love your spaces, and also LOVE your insanity-enhancing reference materials: Bossypants rocks…

    😉

  4. I can see why you choose to write at those locations.

  5. I am insanely jealous of the picturesque Xinbeitou Library and the Orange Cafe sounds like a great place to work. I used to write exclusively at a coffee house. The baristas got to the point where they would put up a pot of my favorite tea when they saw me in the parking lot. Now that I live in a larger apartment, I have my own writing nook. I’m in the process of covering the walls with pictures and nicknacks that inspire me.

  6. When we lived in Vietnam, I had an Hanoi coffee shop I loved to write in. Space is such an under-rated component of great writing. You only have to read Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of Her Own” to know that. I will come back with a link to the post I did on my current creative space.
    Kathy

  7. woowww… soo cool, i wanna be there..:-)

  8. Great picks. A waterfall at a library too cool. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  9. Francesca

    Hey great post…seems very apt that I should post here as my blog was a university project that I am looking to continue that looked at women’s creative spaces. Pop over to check it out at http://spacesinspired.wordpress.com/ and drop me an email if you fancy participating, as I would love to expand this project.
    Thanks Francesca 🙂

    • Francesca- Thanks for sharing your project, sounds very interesting! I’m curious also about how it ties in with your interdisciplinary studies… but yes, would be happy to get involved, either with a photo from this post or from my desk in my room (with all of my bookshelves, lamp, etc, once I’ve cleaned it up!). My contact info is in the “The Girl” section of the blog, so feel free to get in touch (or I’ll email you) and we can collaborate!

  10. Such an amazing library. Can I move in?

  11. Thanks for the comments, folks! I definitely agree about wanting to move into the library, and so does the rest of the Xinbeitou area of Taipei, because it’s always full of people working, reading, or just chilling out! Happy writing space-finding to you…

  12. I would like to be able to write in public spaces, but I always have to go to the bathroom! I have to pack up my laptop, notes, etc., etc., for the 5 min break. Then repeat 20 min later. . . .

  13. Space #1 looks AMAZING! Sign me up!

  14. Amanda

    I love your blog! I just moved back from Taiwan almost a year to the day. Your blog makes me remember all of my fond memories of the island. Good luck on you book as well!

    Amanda
    http://bullfrogsandbulldogs.wordpress.com/

  15. tecnologiatu

    Really wonderful! 😀

  16. You’re lucky – you get to write in beautiful and exotic spaces. I write wherever, whenever – sprawled on my bed, scratching on the back of returned homework, or typing whenever my family doesn’t kick me off the computer. It’s a rough life, but someone has to live it. 😉

  17. I have found that during different times of my life, I have required a variety of environments. When I was young and living in the country, I spent time curled up at the end of my bed…on the floor next to the heater, spending huge amounts of time reading and writing.
    In college, I hung out at the local bookstore…I need the quiet noise…and the cheap coffee. Places completely quiet would only increase the wandering of my mind.
    When my daughter was a baby…quiet mornings in our spare bedroom with the view of our Japanese Maple tree was peaceful oasis.
    Now that my daughter is older and has found a love of words herself, I find myself searching for my new spot. Thank you for your inspiration, I will be mindful to keep looking for just the perfect place.

  18. livinglearningeating

    Good for you with all the writing! I love writing outside, with a view of something beautiful and natural, or in a cafe (preferably in Europe…hmm, I forecast a great deal of that this fall 😛 )

  19. When I first started writing, I needed complete silence to be able to get the words to flow. Now that I’ve been making a living as a writer for over a decade I find that I can write in just about any environment, but I still prefer quiet and space to spread my stuff out. I can’t imagine myself ever taking to cafe writing in any serious way. Too many distractions, and I talk to myself a lot when I write which can be frowned upon in public places.

    I was amazed to learn that Charles Dickens wrote standing up in his parlour, and there would be a constant flow of people mingling about and chatting with him, so he carried on conversations while he was writing.

    I’m on the way to having my dream writing space. I took over the spare bedroom as an office (sorry guests) and painted the walls watermelon pink, with a black filling cabinet covered in magnetic poetry words and a purple whiteboard. The walls are lined with bookshelves that overflow with books and knickknacks that make me smile. I recently invested in a second computer monitor, which is the best thing since cliches were invented.

    Glad to hear that you have found some marvelous places to write in, and about.

  20. Wonderful post, and congrats on being Freshly Pressed! I have a few writing niches myself in LA, including one I discovered today in Avenue of the Stars where the Annenberg Space for Photography recently opened up. A few of my other favorites include libraries and cafes as you mentioned, but its sad that there are no used bookshop cafes here like in Boston and elsewhere. Thanks for the post!

  21. Hello I am so envious of the beautiful places you talk about. I am in the first year of my Ph.D and already started wondering about the places to write my dissertation 🙂 really like it

  22. J Roycroft

    My wife and I stayed in a tree house cottage in the Ozark Mountains during our honeymoon. Memories to last forever. Congrats on FP

  23. It seems to be a good place.

  24. Pingback: The Fantasy Treehouse: Favorite Writing Spaces (via Girl Meets Formosa) | Actuaria's Blog

  25. That’s so cool! Writing’s so much framed by the environment – and what a fantastic place for you. And it’s soooo good to get that many days of productive writing.

    Me? I can’t write if somebody’s talking to me – which means no radio, and usually no music with voices either. My wife hates it. But we have to live with it – contract delivery deadlines always seem to press.

    Matthew Wright
    http://mjwrightnz.wordpress.com
    http://www.matthewwright.net

  26. ANGELSTARLOVE/ KUO-LING LIAO

    LOVELY PICTURES! MAKES ME WANT TO GO TO TAIWAN! I THINK I WILL BE GOING FOR THE SECOND TIME IN OCTOBER. I GREW UP IN THE STATES. AND I AM A LIAO TOO! PEACE AND LOVE AND TAIWAN!
    ANGEL STAR LOVE/ KUO-LING LIAO-YANG

  27. Thanks for the post, which I enjoyed very much. My space is a very old Mercedes campervan, which I can drive anywhere to get any kind of scenery, seclusion or inspiration to enhance my writing experience. It’s comfortable, there’s coffee and drinks whenever I need a break and a fridge for anything else. I’m lucky as I live near the beach in the UK so I don’t have to trundle far, holding up the traffic and holidaymakers as I go, before I find my spot to park and escape into my imagination within the warm and safe confines of my old friend, which we affectionately call the Ninky Nonk.

  28. Thanks for great read about Taiwan, Beitou. Much has changed since the 70’s. Place looks real cleaned up.

  29. Nice place and good environment,and gorgeous design.

  30. Hi Formosa girl, doing internship in Taipei starting September. Looking for accommodation in Taipei close to MTR. Grateful if u know resources to where can find etc …thanks – could you contact via em aheneghana[at]gmail[dot]com

  31. alibrariangirl

    Formosa girl – wonderful to read this entry, and the pictures make it even better. Thanks for the fascinating start of my day. As a librarian with interests in peace and security issues, I read and take notes all the time. But my writing is more for fun with a little serious in-between. However, whether reading or writing, like you, I find public places to be the most productive. Even though at home I have a space set aside for just these activities, I am constantly reminded of something I need to do. Then up I go to the kitchen or to grab that dust bunny in the corner. I actually focus better outside the home. ‘Cept in coffee shops I tend to people watch and soon I’m in my own fantasy world trying to decide someone’s background. But sometimes that activity only adds to the creativity. Right? Right?

    Sigh . . . .. Anyway, keep up the good work!

  32. Nice post! I love to write everywhere I can, but my favourite has always been my good ol’ writing desk. Unfortunately, now it’s so crowded that you can barely see the wooden surface. So I scribble away in places like little tea-and-coffee houses. You’d be surprised how many adequate character descriptions I’ve done based on innocent fellow-coffee-drinkers.

    Thanks for sharing this great post and those cool pictures!

  33. What a place to write, amazing and looks very relaxing.

  34. Hi! I will soon be visiting Taiwan (hopefully it will push through!) and I find your post very timely and helpful. I am back reading your posts and I’m enjoying it.

    Congratulations for making it in the freshly pressed and for being a Full Bright Scholar!

  35. Great writing. I would like to try Xinbeitou Library, it looks very peaceful.

  36. The closest I got to Taiwan was Viet Nam when I was teaching in Asia. Very inspiring climate, the omega fatty acids in the equally inspiring brain food helps, right? I filled up a lot of journals, the palms of my hands, the backs of receipts. I was tempted to write in my passport (in pencil – until I got back to my hotel room – I had an eraser on the end of a pencil somewhere in there). Still processing everything so I might know how you feel. Good luck with it!

  37. Amazing, and beautiful! I live in South Korea, and spaces filled with nature and tranquility are few and, sadly, far between. Thanks for sharing these spaces with all of us!

  38. Love the waterfall shot. It looks so pacifying 🙂

  39. My favorite writing space and has been for months is on my sectional sofa in my living room. I have a fan in here, a piano, a big wall clock, a table and a table lamp, balconey doors that lead on to a balconey that over looks a historic area of Montpelier, Vermont…the old granit industry and if you look just beyond that you see The Hunger Mountain Coop which is a beautiful health food store with an indoor/ outdoor cafe that over looks the Winooski River a good sized river that runs through the center of town. I am kind of addicted to my lap top though.

  40. To write, I need a cafe with a relaxed atmosphere (bonus if the color scheme’s good), some music (that I’ll drown out with my own), cool drinks, affordable snacks and comfy seats. Ideally the Internet connection wouldn’t work, because if it did I would never get anything done. NEVER.

  41. good place and atmosphere, i love there

  42. arilaan

    Wow, those spaces look BEAUTIFUL, especially the library with the waterfall… I’ve dreamed of going on a backpacking and writing retreat (like the 9 month long AT or a hike across Europe), and writing my story sitting on rocks overlooking a stream or valley or lush green field… or even getting a cabin in a beautiful section of the woods like this writer character in some movie I’m forgetting (90’s rom-com?) lived in… all I could think of when I saw that scene was SO JEALOUS….
    I think I’d been trying to write by keeping myself goal-oriented and making promises like ‘write an hour a day,’ which I’d eventually like to make ‘creatively write an hour a day’ in addition to blogging or journaling… but I hadn’t thought much about WHERE to write. The small, bare-essentials dorm I’m staying in for the summer is not too distracting and makes it easier to write than my other dorms. Back in Cambridge I had a cafe that I loved to go to, but mostly for studying or writing for classes, rarely for writing on my own. I sometimes get antsy in cafes, like ‘I should leave, it’s been 1.5 hours,’ but maybe I’ll get over that thought and give the ones here a try.
    Thanks for your thoughts in this inspiring post!

    • Good luck with the goals for writing every day! I know how you feel about getting antsy in cafés or public places, but the trick I think is just to be such a charming and pleasant customer that the staff eventually gets to like/ignore you…. and let you work! The other day I finished something I was writing in a rotating sushi conveyor belt restaurant– not the most relaxed place, but it was worth it to finish the thought. More posts on “writing as a practice” coming next week!

  43. Write, write, write! There is nothing so satisfying as working consistently on writing because it’s sooooo incredibly easy to put off. Good for you. I don’t live in Taipei, but I do know what it’s like to find a place outside of home where the words just flow. It’s all about atmosphere which has nothing really to do with decor and all of that, but rather the culture of a place, of everything coming together to make a perfect creative spot, if not for everyone, but for you. I used to hang out and write at this Quickly fast food restaurant in a tiny town (for China) in Guangdong Province. It was on the second floor, which I loved because instead of having passersby gawk at me, I could people watch them and there was this glorious way the light shone in and the fact that in the afternoons I was often the only person in the place. It was where a vague idea of a great story came into fruition. I’m still working on it today and it has only grown in size and scope and because I remember the time I put it into back then when I was living in China…I just can’t give it up. Once your time is in, it’s too important. Anyway, great post and keep on writing. 🙂

  44. i dun have a favourite space..so i guess that’s why i didnt update my blog much..

  45. I find that I need distractions when I write. I used to live with a roommate, a cat and a dog, and to escape the insanity I would carry my trusty laptop and head out to Starbucks. Once I was there, latte and cookie by my side, I would engage in my favorite pastime, people watching. In between shows I would write. I got a lot done, but I would think “if I had a house with an actual den, think how much more I would get done.

    Then I got condo; and a den. I’d go up to the den and stare at my laptop, and then rearrange a drawer, and then stare at my laptop, and then open the book I was supposed to read for work, and then stare at my laptop. I missed the noise and bustle of Starbucks, but I now had a condo and a lot more expenses, Lattes and entertainment had to be cheapened.

    My new writing space is a tv tray in my living room. I now open my laptop, wait for the cat to settle into the nest I call my arms, and type. I have the people walking outside my windows to watch, a cat to play with and all the noise I want. It’s amazing how much I’m getting done.

    I’d throw it all away though to go to the Taipei library. That is just beautiful.

  46. Hi there! What a beautiful place, and what a beautiful blog, heart, and soul you possess. 🙂 Kudos from a fellow writer for wresting your dreams by the horns and pursuing your passion.
    I’m also currently working on a book that involves a little documented political period. My historical interests specifically lie in 1840s Ireland during the Great Potato Famine and Catholic Emancipation with the Young Irelanders, but it’s exciting to find undocumented stories. 🙂 If you have any tips on how to approach comprehensive research, as well as transcribing and/or writing about oral history, I’d appreciate them. 🙂 My blog, http//mygreathunger.wordpress.com documents my journey, so feel free to stop by. 🙂
    And, finally, to answer your question: my favorite writerly space is the world! Really, all I need is a pen and paper and I’m good to go. 🙂 There’s this cafe right by my university that I ADORE going to, because they serve the best green tea lattes and they’ve got these gigantic armchairs you can’t help but feel literary in. I also love writing on my bed, because my walls are plastered with inspiring quotes and classic romance/novel pictures. I think the world is the best writing space, though, because you glean your material from it. It’s like transcribing a breathing story.
    Have a marvelous day, and I’ll be following your blog closely!

    Mary ^_~

  47. Writing under deadlines, I usually either go to a local cafe called New Moon in my hometown or the public library where it’s dead quiet.

  48. Wow, I really enjoyed your article. I never knew Tapai could be such a great place to write but it sure sounds like it. It makes me almost want to go there. I wish had more time and a better atmosphere to write in too. Thanks for sharing those photos too. That waterfall was pretty.

  49. S.A

    That library looks amazing! Such a great surrounding for a place like that!
    This makes my writing spaces look rubbish.
    Great post!

  50. Hi – love the pictures, really enhances your blog. Spent three months in Shanghai years ago, reminds me of it all. Did some mean writing there too. Now just constrained by London – but hey, might add some places to write pix to my blog for here too.

  51. Hey – congrats on all that writing that’s coming out of you! It really is quite wonderful. Trust me – I can relate, as I recently finished a novel of my own and am currently shopping it out to publishers. It’s great when you find that one great place to write that just brings the creativity out of you – enjoy!!!

  52. Miriam

    I write in my school library a lot, not because it’s particularly nice (although the computers are super fast) but because it’s quiet and convenient, I can just spend a lunch time there. What’s more, Facebook etc is blocked. Unfortunately, I can’t listen to music while I’m there.
    I’ll also write at home on my laptop, which is in my bedroom, or anywhere else I am really. A notebook on the bus, a laptop at a writing meet-up in a coffee shop … I prefer it to be quiet, or with very loud film music (the best kind! I have lots of playlists) for optimal inspiration, hee hee.
    I wish I could have a special writing room as I get distracted very easily, but as soon as I put headphones in and open the document I’m focused, so that’s good.

  53. Pingback: Getting “Freshly Pressed”: Reflections on Almost a Year of Blogging | Girl Meets Formosa

  54. annaxuanruan

    My goodness, there are so many nice places to write in Taipei! I’m from Switzerland, born and living in a small university town. We do have nice and large libraries, some of which are from the 19th century, and the brand new rolex learning center (check this http://www.cercle-democratique.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/rolex-learning-center.jpg). But as it’s a university town, all the libraries are packed with students, no matter when you’re there. It’s not that places are not available, but the environment is not good for writing. People are stressed. It creates bad waves. Forget about café, way too busy. Even my former high schools library is now packed with uni students. It was an old nice library, where you had to get a ladder to grab book.
    So usually, I stay at home with black chocolate, and a full teapot of jasmine tea. I need to have music in my ears or absolute silence, so usually during the night or early in the morning. But inspiration can pop out anytime, so I always have a booklet and a pen with me.
    Interesting to know how people write! It’s like a good wine. It’s good not only because the grape and the process was excellent, but also because the packaging was flawless.,

  55. like it when u have ur own writing space and mode

    hope u enjoy it

    nice posts u r writing
    thanks

  56. This fascinates me because I always write at home. I don’t have a waterfall, sadly, but there is a fountain in the backyard.

  57. interesting review…
    often inspired to write need to be stimulated with a fun and relaxing place

  58. Aww, so lovely! When I write, the thing that matters most is my musical atmosphere. I need the right kind of music. I usually put in some good soundtracks and movie trailer music and let the music become the soundtrack for my writing. Once I’m in that zone, it takes a forcible blow to my consciousness to get me back out again!

    I’m fairly certain that if I was somewhere that beautiful, I would be so distracted that I wouldn’t be able to write a word!

  59. For me, I need to have family close by – I like being around my daughter or husband listening to them in the background while I work. My drawing table is in the living room with activity all around me. I love your post.

  60. Your suggestions for writing locations are superb. You present a valid point in regards to working at home, there can ignite so many distractions whether it be the soft and cozy bed behind you or the refrigerator downstairs! One of the reasons I enjoy writing in public places is because it gives me an opportunity to write outside, embracing the beauty of the day and it allows me to people watch, gaining some inspiration from the people that pass me by. You bring a great combination of suggestions from the quiet library to the more active locations. Thank you for offering your suggestions and the best of luck to you on your book manuscript!

    If its okay with you, I just started my own blog recently and I would really like to post my link along with my comment, it’s http://www.logicmeetsreason.wordpress.com I invite you and your readers to take a look at it, comment, and subscribe!

  61. Thanks for the post, and the beautiful pics. A bit guilt-inducing for me, because I often spend so much time looking for a spot to write in, that I’ve used up all my writing time! Very frustrating, but I guess just another form of procrastination. Just write, dammit!

  62. When I was at University, I found a space with just three computers. There was no Internet access but I could access my unimail and all the electronic journals needed for research. I found it easier to work there than at home. Only the lack of food was an issue but I lost eight kilos though by just going by on chewing gum and coffee!

  63. Amazing man.Congratulations

  64. wow i’m currently in the process of writing a book and have never really thought about how different places could help my writing flow thanks for the tips and the ideas

  65. Love your blog and the places that you write in. I know what you mean about being distracted! I’m supposed to be working on my novel right now but instead I’m reading your blog! Oh dear.

  66. you catch good attitude to writing. i try to do the same, but i am able to be only a week in such discipline. i don’t like it. but i’m trying! and i’m not going to stop 🙂

  67. Yes, writing is almost like being on the wings of an eagle. My ex fiance used to write at night. He was a night stalker at a grocer store so he was used to being up at night. He had his apartment living room with his computer and his book shelf, his 1 or 2 cats, he was a good eater. He liked to eat, mashed potatoes and gravy, Long John Silvers, sea food some that I recall and he loved to sleep. He was just really good at taking care of himself and writing for him was part of that. He started going to the gym for a while. The girls were always after him too.

  68. Oh! Lovely places! How could I have missed them when I last visited Taipei!!
    My travel bug begins to bite me … I must return there! Thx for sharing!

  69. This is a wonderful blog. I can almost hear the water running down the path of the stream in the photo and even smell the delicious looking sandwich you snapped a photo of. Keep blogging. Great job!

  70. Alan King

    First off, congrats on taking the steps you’ve taken to tell your family’s story. Congrats also for completing the MFA process. I’m currently in the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine. It’s a low-residency program.

    Secondly, I’m always excited to read how writers find their places for writing and productivity. At the winter residency, Cait Johnson, one of the faculty members, did a presentation on using the body as a tool to experience spiritual energies. She recently did a similar presentation at the summer residency.

    In her description of the presentation this past residency (I couldn’t make it this time because of schedule conflicts with other wonderful presentations), she writes: “Our unique sensual perception is part of our gift as writers: the specificity of our personal connection with the natural world can produce writing that is both vivid and immediate.”

    That’s why I enjoyed your blog post about your favorite writing places. At Cait’s presentation during the winter residency, me and other writers in the audience matched our personalities to the different energy types on a chart Cait created. I found out that I’m both “earth” (grounded) and “fire” (loves to perform in front of crowds). We also talked about how our favorite writing places feed those energies.

    Thank you for this post! And, again, congrats on working to put your family’s story out there. This past residency, Jaed Coffin did a wonderful presentation on how to sell a memoir in a 50-page proposal. I’m sure you already know that. But if you’re still interested, it’s my post titled “The Residency II”.

    I didn’t mean for my response to be so long, but I was really moved by this post and the info on your book project. Thanks again. Peace!

  71. My favorite writing space is anywhere with a door, a desk, and a computer. As a result, I don’t have to go very far to find it.

  72. PartOfTheStorm

    Very cool. I think this post and some of the responses are helpful to writers searching for creative environments. LOVE the library. I’m in the process of creating my own library at home. 🙂

  73. I started out blogging at my public library. I was going through a hard custody battle and still raising one son who was very little so I needed to get out some by myself. I was on Youpet and Facebook. But the librarian there has known me since I was a child and I started to feel leachy so I got my own computer. They do not see my face in there as much any more and I am more reserved with my blogging…Wordpress and Viewbug.com (for photography) more respectable I guess that you could say.

  74. I absolutely loved this post! It is interesting to know that you are so committed to your research! Thanks for your links on the side as well. I like the Writers and Poets website. I’m currently trying to become a technical writer right now/searching career options with my English major and I love your blog! 🙂

  75. I love your post. I also find studying or working in a public space more productive. When I was in college, I used to sit in the library for hours studying or writing papers. The library on campus overlooked the a huge park, it was nice to be able to look outside at the trees and people strolling about every so often.

    This is the first post of yours that I’ve read, so what are you researching or writing about?

  76. Just truly awesome and wow!

  77. Put me on a train and I am my creative best! Also, I love the energy at a cafe, so love writing there as well. But having said that, my fav place is my desk at home. Thats where i love to be, around midnight, when there is no one to disturb you. Good post!

  78. You make Taipei look really beautiful!

  79. Lovely pictures, I must say !!

  80. joshuapolk

    Location, location, location.

  81. Pingback: Calling All Artists: Where do you like to write/create/compose? « Sakari Dixon

  82. robd2

    This is such a coincidence finding this post because I had seen this library in Taipei when I went on spring break when I went to the hot springs. http://thehardrive.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/382.jpg?w=600&h=450
    You should check out Qing Nian Park in the Wanhua district, Taipei, Im sure you could concentrate plenty in there.

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  84. Legendary post, I enjoy this spectacular site,I found you along freshly pressed!

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  85. Lane

    Booday cafe near Zhongshan MRT station has a great vibe for writing or studying. Try the marmalade iced tea…wow!

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