I have read of writers who do just that. But to me it's well beyond my reach. For a start, I do not have a shed or even a spare room in which I can lock myself away from the world.
And as for the dream of having an office away from home where no-body can get at me, forget it! My desk is on a gallery in our open-plan old chapel conversion so I hear every conversation downstairs, whether it's in the kitchen, sitting-room or even conservatory. And all someone has to do is stand on the ground floor and call me.
|Desk is at the top of stairs by the window|
Then there are those writers who can snatch half an hour before breakfast and another half an hour here, scribble notes on the tube or bus, any snatches of time along the real journey that is life.
I work like an old steam engine. I need time. I have to find a day when I am on my own with a morning - or bliss - an afternoon as well when I can warm up to the task. I start slowly by reading what I wrote the last time, start tinkering with that, adjusting this or cutting that before I am able to build up a steady head of steam and move forwards - creaky and hesitant at first before the pistons start pounding and I've picked up a head of steam and I'm thundering along at maximum speed, trailing steam and smoke behind me...
Until...someone pulls the emergency communication cord (in other words, the telephone or doorbell rings or someone speaks to me.) And that's it. I'm stationary, stranded, blinking in the bright light of reality. It's especially for me because I write historical fiction and like to immerse myself in the period, its feel and its vocabulary. Yesterday, for instance, I'd been writing furiously for about three hours. It was 1316 in winter and I was there. When cold, aching limbs and thirst drove me to come downstairs I was shocked to find myself in 2013 in June with dazzling sun streaming through the windows. IThat was it. No more writing for the day. I craved a long walk and yet, as I walked along I found myself mentally restructuring what I'd written that morning.
You see, it was the first time I'd sat down with my WIP for several weeks. Why? Well, you'd hardly expect me not to be acutely aware that our first grandchild was born last week and not to have become besotted with beautiful Isaac Zigmond - and wondering how my own baby Robin grew up to be a father himself. Because, when it comes to it, life is infinitely more amazing than art.