Today I am delighted to welcome Susanna Bavin to the blog!
My Writing Life – Susanna Bavin
First of all, many thanks, Heidi, for inviting me to appear on your blog in your My Writing Life series. As I sit here writing this, I don't know when my contribution is going to appear or how many other writers will have been featured before me; but I have this niggling feeling that my predecessors will all have been hugely impressive and that their writing lives were, without exception, shining examples of organisation and immense word counts.
The thing is, at the moment my writing life is pretty shambolic, and that's a first for me, because I am by nature a fairly organised person. The shambolic thing to do with work. In the past, I always worked either office hours or school hours, which lent structure to my life in general and made it easy to fit in the writing –even if it didn't always feel easy. But a little over two years ago, we moved to North Wales, where, because I'm not a fluent Welsh speaker, my work possibilities are limited. Don't misunderstand me – I'm not complaining – far from it. Living in Llandudno was my lifelong dream and I always knew that coming here would mean being flexible about work.
For the first eighteen months, I had a job that involved free time for writing, but in the spring I decided to take a temporary post simply because it was a job I knew I would love. And I do love it. But what I hadn't appreciated was how all-consuming the long hours would prove to be.
And that's why my writing life is currently shambolic. My usual writing times have vanished and I have to say my life doesn't feel right without them. But I'm a writer and I fit the writing in somewhere. Writing in the evenings isn't really an option because of getting home so much later. Instead I'm getting up early, which has proved very popular with the cat, who evidently feels there is no better way to greet each brand new day than by sprawling all over an A4 pad. She has her own pad. Every few minutes, I scribble on it so she doesn't lose interest in it and transfer herself to mine. (I'm a pen-and-paper girl, not a straight-to-screen writer.)
As well as that, I write in breaks at work – it's not ideal, but I've made it part of my routine. I write as much as I can on my days off; and my trusty notebook goes everywhere with me.
When Heidi got in touch and asked fellow writers if we would like to contribute to this slot, she said she had come across a number of would-be writers who said they couldn't write because they'd never manage to fit it in; and she hoped this series of articles would show that, no matter what your commitments are, you can always fit in the writing if you want to.
So my message to the not-yet writers is: I do fit it in. Even though I spend long days at work. Even though a member of the family has had three stints in hospital in the past year. Even though I have the same family commitments and everyday responsibilities we all have. And you'll fit it in too, if you are seriously interested in writing. And then you'll stop being a not-yet writer and be a writer. Good for you.
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