This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
When I moved into the old Victorian house where I live now in south London four years ago, I had grand plans – and every intention – to turn the spare bedroom into a beautiful writing room where everything would be organised and I could spend my days watching the world go by from the window while bashing out bestsellers (I’m nothing if not eternally hopeful). I had a three-month old baby and a house to renovate, as well as a book to write, and so it never quite happened.
I’m glad in a way because I’ve realised that I work best when I’m ‘roaming’. Sometimes a change of scenery can really re-boot your inspiration. I prefer to take my laptop wherever the mood takes me, and ideally where the light is best in the house. During the summer months that’s in the kitchen where the sunlight streams in through the huge sash window or, weather permitting, my beautiful garden, complete with gazebo, terrace and swinging bench. I love to write outdoors, listen to the birds tweeting in the trees at the bottom of the garden and topping up a tan while I’m at it! (I have been known to write in my bikini on a sun lounger – talk about getting into character!).
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Most writers say that a pre-requisite to being productive is to be comfortable, but I like to perch on a stool in the kitchen, up against the breakfast bar. I’m closer to the kettle and biscuit tin this way and the light in my kitchen is especially good in spring and summer. I wrote most of Wicked Wives from here, and just a little in the garden too, thanks to the great British summertime!
I’m a night writer in as much as I am at my most productive during the twilight hours when all the family are asleep. I have two small children so have learned to write against a backdrop of chatter, noise and Pepper Pig. In fact, I prefer a little background noise to total silence, mostly. During the hours of two and four am, before the birds start tweeting, I’m often at my creative best – no one to bother me! I retire to the living room to my old wooden table opposite my bookshelf where I stock all my reference and piles of magazines (I’m a total mag slag). I’m not a post-it note writer, it’s largely all in my head, but I do have about three note books on the go, filled with ideas, quotes and thoughts. I wrote most of Chelsea Wives from my living room table during the day with the big French patio doors open, vintage lace curtains gently lifting in the breeze, but when it’s very cold, I will light the open fire and curl up in front of it on my rug with my laptop and a nice bottle of red or write by candle light with my old candelabra. So romantic!