It turns out I’m profoundly influenced by where I write.
I know there are those of you who can take your laptop into the toilet and edit a whole chapter while your children bang on the door asking for their pencils to be sharpened. I am utterly is awe of those writers. You amaze me. But I can’t do that. I write unspeakable nonsense and I snap pencils.
I had noticed that I write better on trains. There is something about the solitude and the scrolling scenery that sends me into the trippy autopilot of free writing. But I still thought I was doing pretty well at home. I only realised my need for a clean, bright bubble to write in while on holiday recently at my parents’ house. They live on a Scottish Island, up on a cliff top, looking out over the sea. I had set myself a holiday writing target, so once a day I took my laptop up into my ‘garret’ and wrote. The silence had a sea view. Without fail, after 45 minutes I’d hit my 1000 words, and those words were good! Sometimes I’d round off to an hour and get another 500 in the last 15 minutes. For some of you that might be standard productivity but that would normally take me up to 3 hours at home.
It turns out that I need to be alone. Even having my husband quietly working a few feet away at his own desk vastly reduces my concentration and creative process. Plus I’m not the tidiest of people. Clutter is not my friend, but certainly a close neighbour. So, I built myself a garret. OK, that’s rather a grand way of saying I put a small wooden table and chair at the far end of the room, by the terrace doors:
This is my place for writing. No paying bills, no emails, no Twitter, zero distractions. It’s not the most comfortable chair in the house, but all the more reason to work fast. Our office/den is already up in the attic, sloping roof and all and my new garret is only 5m from my desk, but for me and my writing it’s like being in another world.
Where do you write?