Sunday, 3 July 2016

On being an adaptable author...

Recently I've been trying to sum up how much my Writing Life has changed during the last few months and the immortal words of Eleanor Farjeon have sprung to mind on more than one occasion. If you replace the words 'cats sleep' with 'authors write' you'll know exactly what I mean...

Cats sleep anywhere, any table, any chair.
Top of piano, window-ledge, in the middle, on the edge.
Open draw, empty shoe, anybody's lap will do.
Fitted in a cardboard box, in the cupboard with your frocks.
Anywhere! They don't care! Cats sleep anywhere.

Eleanor Farjeon (1881 - 1965)

See what I mean? Yes, I thought you might. With two books out this year and a deadline for another looming large on the horizon I have had to adapt. And fast. Long gone on are the days when I used to sit at the dining table and only the dining table when inspiration struck. These days I've mastered the art of pinning down the words pretty much anywhere and I'm rather proud of that!

Here are my (current) top 5 writing spots

  • On the train to and from fabulous author events in The Big City, especially if I've managed to bag a window seat and a table
  • In my car during my lunch break at work - in the Summer I'll be dehydrated with the windows opens, in Winter I'll be sporting a fleece and fingerless gloves
  • On the sofa - my favoured spot between 6 & 7.20 am. A kind of halfway house between my nice warm bed and a chair at the dining table
  • At the head of the dining table in the evenings when I'm typing up the longhand I've written during the day and on designated writing days. (All serious onscreen editing happens here)
  • A cafe or the Virgin Lounge in Norwich - yes it is busy but no one is hassling me about what time dinner will be or where the car keys are
If you'd told me even just a year ago that I would be able to write the words anywhere other than at the dining table I wouldn't have believed you but now it's all in a days scribbling for an adaptable author!

I'd love to know where you work best so do feel free leave a comment, top tip or even a Tweet. Wishing you all a wonderfully productive week!

H x


  1. I used to love my train journey to work for writing (that was the only thing I liked about the job!). Now I'm at home fulltime I find it harder to get going with writing. Social media is my biggest distraction. I've found the best solution is writing in the summerhouse where I have no internet connection. I also can't see the housework that needs doing, which is another plus.

    1. That's very interesting Suzanne. I think the assumption is that writing full time is far more productive but those boundaries and time pressures that come with a 'proper' job are quite often the key aren't they?

  2. I write anywhere too. Costa, doctor's waiting room, train, parked car, even recently, by the side of my mother's trolley in A&E!

  3. This post certainly has struck a chord with folk Morton. I'm currently writing in my car during my lunch break! H x

  4. My favourite writing spot has to be on the train. There's something about train journeys which is very conducive to writing. Maybe it's the set time frame and the being still, yet on the move. Not sure! At home I write on a very old computer which looks more like a typewriter and isn't connected to the internet! Amanda