Will Come the Words: author Robert Rotenberg’s creative space

Read the series intro to Will Come the Words: Writers & their creative spaces.



ROBERT ROTENBERG lives and writes in Toronto, Canada.

What I like about my space:

I’m a criminal lawyer and a writer. For years I had a fancy office in a big office tower in downtown Toronto. Then the books started to happen. I moved home for two years. It was real tough — three kids, not room of my own. One day the well-known criminal lawyer and friend, Eddie Greenpsan, invited me to drop in for coffee. He owns an old bank near the St. Lawrence Market. I told him all I need is “a door and a window.” That’s what I’ve got.

I love that my little office is quiet. That I look onto a park. That I’m near all sorts of fun coffee shops and restaurants where I can eat, and write. That the market is so close by for great fresh produce. And most of all, that the windows open.


What I write here:

I restrict my writing very carefully. I only write legal briefs. And international bestsellers. Oh, and the odd haiku that I slap up on Twitter.





A Room

Strands of morning light,

Across the laptop, the desk:

Better get to work.

(Usually they are better than that!)


My favourite writing quote:

“Shut up and write.”

Actually that’s a steal from Billy Wilder, who wrote the terrific screenplay for the movie The Apartment. The last line is Shirley MacLaine turning to Jack Lemmon and saying: “Shut up and deal.” You want a tremendous example of “show, don’t tell” and great writing, check it out. Here’s the link on YouTube. I’ve watched it about ten times since I thought of this.

That’s my other tip: If you find great writing, read it over and over and over again. Write it out by hand. Savour it.



My creative spaces online:

Robert Rotenberg

Twitter: @RobertRotenberg

♦     ♦     ♦

More writers in this series (alphabetically by last name):

Michelle Berry, novelist

Christy Ann Conlin, novelist

Stephanie Dickison (series intro), food & lifestyles writer, creative nonfiction author

Gail Gallant, YA novelist


Leave a Comment