This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Menna van Praag is the author of The Witches of Cambridge, which is out now!
I wrote my first novel on my lap on my mum’s sofa. I wrote the second on the kitchen table. I wrote the third in the garden one summer. I wrote the forth mainly in bed. It was only by the time I wrote my fifth novel that I actually graduated to my own writing desk. I still don’t have a room, since I live with my husband and son in a very small (but very beautiful) flat, but I’m so happy to have the desk that I don’t mind at all. In fact, I rather enjoy being in the living room, writing while people come and go. Being a writer is such an isolating thing – you spend so much of your time tucked away in your own stories instead of stepping out into the real world – that it feels good for me to be emerged in the hustle and bustle of people going to and fro. Of course, when I’ve reached a difficult plot problem or character moment, or when the words just won’t come, then I need silence, which is when I retreat to the bedroom…
Last week I moved my desk from facing a wall (I’d been following in the footsteps of many famous writers who said they could only write while facing a blank wall) to facing the garden. I’m so glad I did. I love gazing out into the garden and, far from finding it too much of a distraction (except when I want to be distracted) I find that the ever-changing shift of nature inspires me. I write magical realism novels and there is always something enchanting about a garden – one never knows what wonders might be hiding in the flowers or trees.
I’m fortunate in that I can write anywhere. If it’s really too noisy in the flat I’ll take myself off to a café – a cup of tea and slice of cake does tend to spark the imagination too – or the garden. But I always love coming back to my desk. It’s my creative home.