04 August 2015

Garret Tour Tuesday: Nicole Chung

Nicole Chung is a writer and also works as a managing editor for The Toast. The Toast does not have a central office, so Nicole works from her home, which is where she also does most of her writing, whether it is Toast-based or whether it ultimately gets published elsewhere.

"I just recognize that I need to seize the opportunity when inspiration strikes," Nicole says, "because the perfect conditions don’t exist in my life."

Generally, Nicole works at her standing desk.

"It has wheels so I just push it around the living room," she says. "I can push it over to the window and watch squirrels."

But her favorite spot to park her desk is a few feet from her bookshelf.

Via Nicole: "The print on the wall is a Whistler etching from Venice, 
which I saw and then bought way back in college at 
one of my favorite art galleries, the Freer in DC."
Nicole says that she was getting stiff after a few days spent sitting. 

"I thought I would buy it and hate it and feel stupid," she says, "but it’s actually worked out really well."

When she does get tired of standing, Nicole migrates from her standing desk to the couch.

And if she tires of holding her computer on her lap, she moves to the dining room table.

One of the things Nicole really likes about her job is the flexibility. 

"If I get a great idea for an essay in the middle of the afternoon, I can take a break and work on it," she says. "Part of my job is writing, although mainly I’m an editor. Almost everything I do write and publish, even for The Toast, is stuff I’ve written in the evening...in my free time. I find it almost destructively difficult to switch back and forth between writing and editing."

In terms of requiring a specific environment in which to write, Nicole says "I think a lot of us have these little things we’d like to do every time we write." 

But for herself, she never established them as requirements.

"By the time I started writing, I was already a parent," she says. "I’ve never really had any standards. I can work in silence, but I can also work with Frozen playing in the background for the thousandth time."

Besides the writing Nicole publishes on The Toast, she has also written essays that have been published in the New York Times, Slate, and the Atlantic. She says she's not great at planning projects ahead of time, although she is thinking about a book.

"I guess I’m in a constant state of being open to ideas and acting on them."

Thanks again, Nicole, for sharing about your writing space!

Some things Nicole wrote: