The Danielle Steel writing desk is so unique that something should copy the idea and market it to other authors.
It is an inalienable need for a writer to find a comfortable space to do the work. It has to be a space that works for that person alone, no matter what anyone else feels about it.
Thomas Wolfe was comfortable standing up and writing on top of a refrigerator (which at his time were shorter than his 6 foot 6 inch height). He also was comfortable giving himself “a good male feeling”, but that falls under the category of writing techniques and need not concern us here.
Hemingway could write in a cafe or in his rooms with a view in Key West and Cuba. Jane Austen made do writing on half-slips of paper that she could conceal in her writing desk when the family needed her. Stephen King bought himself a huge desk in the first flush of his success, then realized he needed the cramped space provided by his old set-up.
So it is in the spirit of enlightenment that I point out Danielle Steel’s office photographed for Vanity Fair. it encapsulates perfectly this quote I found elsewhere:
I am happiest writing in small rooms. They make me feel comfortable and secure. And it took me years to figure out that I need to write in a corner. Like a small animal burrowing into its hole, I shift furniture around, and back myself into a cozy corner, with my back to the wall … and then I can write.
I would love to ask her, how she came up with the idea to make it look like her books?
Other than that, I love her writing room. There are obviously functional elements, such as the stack of papers, the typewriter, and the bulletin board. But there are also decorative elements that make the room look lived in, and a pleasure to write in.
I could never write in it, but I love to just look at it.
That desk, however, is so crowded that it would work against my imagination.
Unless they were objects vital to the story I’m working on – the reference books, notes, outlines, and pictures – I find them a limit on my imagination. I’m too swayed by visual information. To get into my story, I’d have to close my eyes to all that. Obviously, Miss Steel doesn’t have that problem.