In my imagination, writers work at old, leather-topped desks, by a window. They might have a sleek laptop, but there they sit, tapping out 1,500 words in a morning before spending the afternoon in cultural pursuits such as a museum, reading, or a walk in the park.
Then I became a writer and …. hahahhaah. Oh dear, how wrong I was. You write anywhere you can, whenever you can grab the time. I’ve written on ferries, planes, trains and cruise ships.
I thought you might like to see some of my many writing spots this year!
JANUARY: Until Spring this year I was living in a rented room in London; it was all desperately unglamorous, and the house roof burned off the week we sold GILDED CAGE. Worried by the length of time I was spending sat down, I wanted to try writing while standing, so cobbled together a temporary solution (aka a cardboard box)!
MAY: Publishing a book changes your life in many ways. For me, one of those ways was being able to buy a tiny place of my own. At last, I could create that sleek writing space I’ve always dreamed of – no room for a desk, though! My dining table doubles as my desk. I sit facing the wall so I don’t get too distracted by the view, but I love to bring the outside in by having cut flowers.
AUGUST: I took myself away for a week to Lundy, a small island off the south-west coast of Britain. The Landmark Trust owns and rents out the historic properties there: everything from cottages to a castle and a lighthouse! I stayed in the lighthouse keeper’s converted pigshed, and it was joyous. I had a week off from the Dark Gifts trilogy, and wrote the first three chapters of a possible post-Dark Gifts sequence.
NOVEMBER: I believe in supporting small presses, and earlier this year I donated to a crowdfunder for fabulous Little Toller press, which publishes new and classic nature and rural writing. As a thank-you, they invited me down to stay in their converted store one weekend. It was a gorgeously cozy place: a roaring wood burner and a press of strong coffee! I want to go back and stay longer next year….
DECEMBER: So here I am, ending up the year (almost!) at Virginia Woolf’s house in Sussex. I’ve rented her garden studio for a week. The weather is freezing but the studio is cozy, the view of the garden and village church is beautiful, and I am putting the finishing touches to Book 2 before we send it to copyedits in the new year. My trusty laptop comes with me everywhere, and I wouldn’t be without it!
2017 will hopefully see me writing in Antarctica – but not until December, when I get to make a visit I’ve always longed for!
Where will you be writing next year, or where would be your dream spot to write?