The Writing Life with Lauren Oliver

“Where do you like to do your writing?”

I hear this question, along with some of its derivatives–do you need music or silence when you write? Do you have a favorite desk? Coffee cup? Pen? Notebook?–a lot. So I thought I should take a second to set the record straight.

Where do I like to write? Let’s see. Ideally, at an antique roller-topped desk in a room with a fireplace, looking out onto rolling fields capped with a dusting of freshly fallen snow.

Where do I actually write? Well, right now, for example, I am typing on my Blackberry while waiting for the F-train to arrive, and juggling a gym bag, a purse, and a water bottle. I’ve also been known to write at the dinner table (rude, I know); in taxis and trains; even in bathrooms. I wrote the majority of Before I Fall on my sidekick, while commuting between my full-time work, my full-time school, and my part-time job, and emailing the pages to myself as soon as I emerged from the subway.

I’ve since upgraded to a Blackberry, but other than that, very little has changed. I still write on the fly (and, I’m sorry to say, at the dinner table), and I still squeeze in my writing whenever and wherever I can. It’s not ideal, but life very rarely is–and if I can write anywhere, I never have a good excuse to avoid writing.

Some day, maybe, I’ll get my fireplace and wooden desk. Until then I’ll take a BlackBerry on the F-train. If the F-train ever chooses to arrive, that is…

Lauren Oliver is the author of Before I Fall and Delirium. You can find her on her website, and follow her on twitter at @oliverbooks

6 thoughts on “The Writing Life with Lauren Oliver

  1. wow, that sounds like a hassle, but it’s all worth it in the end when you come up with a masterpiece right?

    sometimes i wish i had a phone that i had internet and email connected too, but sadly i dont. so, all my writing is usually done at home and on the computer… if i have time, i’ll use my thumbdrive at school, but i can’t always get work done….

    anyways, if you ever feel unmotivated to finish, what would you suggest doing to get back to work? it always happens to me… i’ll be quite far into my story, but suddenly, even though i know what i want to have happen next, i just completely lose interest, and i just don’t want to write. sometimes i randomly come up with another plot for a different story, and i start writing that, forgetting about my current work. then when i go back to my work, i have no motivation to work anymore… so, what would you do?

    anyways, i must say, you’re quite amazing to be able to do so much in so little time!
    good luck on future work!

  2. I’ve done this type of writing myself. I wonder how you then find the time to go back and edit your work? Or is it as word perfect as you can get it before you send it to your email?

  3. I absolutely loved Delirium.
    One of the most amazing books
    I’ve ever read in my life,
    And I’ve read a lot 😉
    I absolutely cannot wait
    For it’s sequel.
    I’m dying of anticipation.
    I need to know what happens next!
    When does it come out?
    I haven’t read Before I Fall,
    But I plan to since Delirium was written
    Thanks for writing such an amazing


  4. Haha, I’m glad to see I’m not the only person out there who writes at the dinner table. 😉 This is really cool, getting to see how a published author does it! Before I Fall’s one of my absolute favorite books and I can’t wait to get Delirium! I read the beginning of it on the Harper Teen website and it was amazing — good luck with all your future books! You’ve got a strong fan-base going. 🙂

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