Friday 30 July 2010

My writing day

Years ago I used to subscribe to Writers Magazine and my favourite feature was My Writing Day where authors would write about... er... their day. I loved the tales of writing in pyjamas, walks in the country to alleviate writers' block and afternoon glasses of wine. At the time, my writing day consisted of rushing home from school and writing as much as I could sat cross-legged on my bed before my mum realised I wasn't helping with the chores.

It's all changed now, though. I wake up, get the kids to school and head for the gym. I find the exercise in the morning gets my brain in gear for the rest of the day. Back at home, I switch on the computer, make a cuppa and sit down waiting for inspiration to strike. On good days, it does, it strikes endlessly as I scrawl down pages and pages of text with my beautiful fountain pen. My writing flows as well as the ink; because I love to watch the letters forming on the page so I rarely actually think about what I am writing.

Then those words get typed up, printed out, scrawled over again, printed out again. Sometimes, this only happens a couple of times; other times, it happens 5 or 6, or even more. I love the sound of typing as much as I like to see the ink appear on the page. There's always music, usually an album becomes intrinsically linked to the project I'm working on, so that album is on endless loop until I'm finished.

I never set myself a target. I write until I have nothing left, or until the light is so bad in my study that I have to give it up for the night. I have to write with the curtains closed - I live on quite a busy road and I get distracted watching people and cars going past the window. One day, I'm hoping for a study with a view of the sea, a river, a lake... though any old puddle will do.

I am still not quite used to having a writing day - I've only been in this situation for 10 months, and I'm a slow adapter. I still sometimes wake up and think I've got the whole day free. I would love to be - feel - more professional, to know that I will be productive during specific times and have other times free (like some of the authors in the magazine article - writing 9 til 5, or 10 til 2). But actually, I think writing shouldn't be a 9 til 5 job. It should be spontaneous and random, and you should be free to go for a coffee with a friend at 11 o'clock in the morning, or write until half past 2 in the morning. I never want to feel chained to my desk, I want to always feel that I am having fun!


  1. My writing is very spontaneous, but I try to do it every day. It's usually driven by a character and it never feels like a job. It's when I'm at my happiest :)

  2. Thanks for reading this ancient post - it's feeling part of the blog now :-)


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