This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
I don’t have my own room to write. I know Virginia Woolf thought I should, but – and I’m going out on a limb here – whilst it’s desirable I’m not sure it’s absolutely necessary. Of course I would love to have my own space that no one else would mess up, to which I could retreat and write in peaceful solitude, away from the noise and demands of family life. It sounds idyllic and I can’t say I haven’t dreamed of having that one day. But as long as you can get people’s agreement to not tap you on the shoulder for an hour or so, and you have a decent pair of headphones, you can share the space and still write a book.
I write in various places, migrating around the house depending on who happens to be at home and what the weather is like. Because it’s an old stone house, you want to be upstairs in winter near the chimney breast, where it’s warm, and downstairs in summer at the back of the house, which has very little exposure and so is nice and cool. I do like to be close to a window where I can have natural light and colours in my immediate field of vision, rather than indoor walls and furniture. At the moment though, it’s the summer holidays and chaos reigns supreme. Since I’m editing on paper right now, I’ve taken myself out onto the terrace.
When we first moved here the house had no real outside space. It’s a village house on three levels, in a tiny hamlet at the foothills of the Pyrenees. But there was no room that took advantage of the stunning view South to Mount Canigou and the hills below. One of the first things we did when we moved in was have a section of the top floor knocked off and replaced with a little terrace. My daughters aren’t so keen on playing out there, they prefer the bigger courtyard downstairs, so it’s usually pretty peaceful, except for the swallows in the daytime and the bats in the evening.
Perhaps because of the visual and actual ‘noise’ levels in our house, when I sit down to write I don’t like to have things around me, just the bare minimum to write. That means whatever I’m writing on at the time (paper or laptop), a drink and some fruit if I’m planning to be there for a little while. It saves a distracting and fattening trip to the kitchen.
I’ll be here until the autumn, and then we’ll see…
You can read our review of Claire King’s first novel, The Night Rainbow, here.