Today I am delighted to welcome lovely Elaina James to the blog to share with us the details of her Writing Life.
My Writing Life
I’ve always been an early riser. I blame it on my student days when I had an early morning job before University. I was hard at work whilst my friends were still tucked up snug in their beds. It’s a habit that I’ve never overcome even after I left University and moved on to a new job.
To my friends horror I still get up ridiculously early and head off to the office. The difference is now I go in early to write. I’m not sure that this alleviates any of their concerns for my sanity though.
I sit at my desk in front of my blank computer screen, pull out my note pad and scribble until my colleagues arrive and reality interrupts my imagination. However, there’s always lunch time to look forward to…
If I’m at home I sit at my big spacious desk in the spare room to write, but I can, and do write pretty much anywhere; on the bus, in a café, even sitting outside the shopping centre waiting for it to open. Everywhere I go my note pad and pen are stashed in my handbag just in case.
Everything about my working day as an accountant is planned and prioritised. When it comes to my writing however I seem to be having a mini rebellion against all of this structure and order. I don’t set targets for the number of words to write each day. I don’t plan to focus on a particular section of my novel. I usually write every day, but what I write, when I write and where I write varies. Obviously if I’m striving towards a deadline that takes priority, but the rest of the time I work on whatever has the strongest pull on me that day.
Most of the time I’m good at avoiding distractions and focusing on my writing. Sometimes though I think I’m a little too good at this and I have to remind myself that the real world exists and I should visit for a little while. At least that is, if I plan on having any clean clothes to wear or food in the fridge. But then who wants to do housework when they can be having an adventure in the Old West.
I’ve been fortunate to have a few pieces of my writing published so far, the most recent being a short story called ‘Cinderella Shoes’ published in Scribble Magazine in September, an article ‘If You Don’t Try’ and a poem ‘A Writer’s World’ both in Kishboo Magazine in October. For a writer there is nothing more exciting than getting a piece of work accepted for publication. It’s a feeling that I don’t think I will ever get used to, or at least I hope I don’t.
And if writing novels, short stories and poems isn’t enough, I also write song lyrics. Usually these pop into my head when I’m driving to work so I end up pulling up at the security barrier singing my song repeatedly, so that I don’t forget it before I’ve had chance to write it down. If the security team don’t already think I’m crazy for arriving two hours before everyone else, they certainly will if they ever see me on their CCTV screen while I’m singing away. I’m just glad they can’t hear me as well.
My song lyrics ‘This House’ made it to the semi-finals of the UK Songwriting Contest last year and I went on to work with a talented musician, Andrew Higgins (ADHMusic), who has put my words to music. You can hear our finished song here: https://soundcloud.com/adhmusic/this-house.
You’ll be relieved to know that my vocal skills were not required.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this year’s entry ‘Back to Before’. The results will be announced in November. In the meantime I’m looking forward to working on further collaborations, as Andrew brings life to the words in my dog-eared note pad.
Elaina James is an accountant with a preference for words. She’s a reluctant gardener, in fact she’s really not much of an outdoors kind of girl at all, unless there’s a beach involved and then just try and stop her. You can always tell how many writing projects she has underway, by the size of her handbag. Each project is kept in its own note pad and carried with her in the ever increasing collection in her bag. Of course this could just be a clever ploy to buy more handbags…