my writing studio

This is the little corner of the world where I spend a lot of time twiddling my thumbs and looking out the window at the bellies of planes.

I’ve had this writing studio since Christmas 2010. Prior to that, I had grand dreams of building my own writing hut. It was going to be as pretty as Roald Dahl’s and as ingenious as George Bernard Shaw’s, which could rotate to follow the sun. The plan didn’t work out, so I began renting this little studio in a warehouse that I share with musicians, visual artists, fashion designers, a tattooist and an artisan cabinetmaker.

Having a studio just for writing seemed like an extravagant move at first but it has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made. There’s nothing quite like having a room of your own where you can shut the door and be away from the world just to nurture your imagination.

The first five months in my studio overlapped with my last five months working part-time in corporate law. It was an odd feeling going back and forth on alternate days between glass city office and kooky writing studio. Now I spend most of my time here — when I’m not having a lazy day writing in bed.

Here are more photos of my studio. You’ll notice that many things in it are featured in the banner for this blog, which was designed by the brilliant Matt Huynh.

That’s Duke Ellington on the bookshelf in his top hat. This is a Walter Bosse fox:

This is the result of an obscure obsession with unstable housing arrangements:

I once bought a sale sign from an antiques shop because it had been written in texta on the back of this painting:

Mini print from Anna Zhu’s Antarctica exhibition:

Cheekily doctored Herald Sun article mentioning our little film Colin the Dog’s Fabulous Midnight Adventure and Another Story:

Paperchase journal, which has the perfect amount of space between lines:

Keiko Matsui tea cup:

Hoping to learn some magic card tricks but still learning how to shuffle:

Can’t take enough photos of my clever Olivetti Lettera 32:

So clever it can recite Anna Akhmatova:

Wall of ideas and a pretty unicorn card from Yumi Takahashi, all held up with Magnart — the best thing since Blu Tack:

Kafka, of course. How pretentious:

Baseball card from Japan. Reminds me of Murakami. I like the uniforms too:

Dinah Jams, which includes Dinah Washington’s fabulous version of You Go To My Head:

Bought the record from this store in New York:

Another favourite lady o’mine:

Headphones on standby for solitary silent discos:

My reclining wingback chair. Behind it on the right is a print from the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens. Worth a visit, especially to see the crazy wallpaper. I like Satchmo’s white socks in this photo.

My Michael Parkinson mug. Whenever I use it, I’m tempted to look into the nearest camera and say: “A very good night. Goodnight!

Moustache by Suddenly It’s Real and edamame key ring. Apparently beans are to be associated with relaxation:

The Guilty Pile. Unread poetry, Carey, Twain and le Carré:

Essential reading to lift the brow:

And finally, a sleek couple I sometimes see in the window of the warehouse across the road:




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