This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Alice Peterson is the author of two bestselling novels, 'Ten Years On' and 'Monday to Friday Man'. Her new book, By My Side, is published as a paperback on 18th July.
In an ideal world, I’d love to have an office – my own little space that’s separated from the rest of the house. However, that’s not possible so I have divided my sitting room into two by placing two sofas back to back to give the impression part office/part sitting room.
I have made my office my little den and I love the space I have created. I have a pin board covered with photos of friends and family. On the walls I have a couple of canvases of my book covers. I always have flowers on my desk and in the winter I began lighting a neroli candle just to keep my spirits up during the long winter days. I also had a heater to keep my feet toasty warm. A cup of coffee is never far away. One other living and breathing accessory is Mr Darcy, my handsome Lucas Terrier, the inspiration behind my dog walking novel, Monday to Friday Man! Darcy either lies by my side while I am writing, or he sprawls himself out on the sofa bed. Or he sits and stares at me because he’s bored of me tapping away at my computer; it’s surely time for his walkies.
I’m not the world’s tidiest person, my friends and family will vouch for that, but I try as hard as I can to keep my desk clutter free so I can concentrate on my writing. I don’t listen to music when I’m writing the first draft, but I often listen to the radio or my iPod during the editing phases or if I’m on Facebook and twitter. I’m a pretty disciplined person and am never tempted to turn daytime television on – though I do stop for lunch and always have Neighbours or Doctors on in the background.
I do most of my writing in the morning, after my early walk with Darcy, when I feel bright and fresh. I find mid afternoon a sleepy time. If I’m stuck and nothing’s inspiring me, or Darcy’s stare is too intense, I take him out for his second walk, and normally head to our favourite doggy-friendly café, Lola and Simon, where I drink a ginger tea, eat cake and eavesdrop conversations, before I go home and get back down to business again… working until the early evening, a glass of wine never too far away by this time of the day…