This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Cathy Woodman is the author of the Talyton St George vet books. The next in the series, Country Loving, is released in August.
I tend to write whenever and wherever I can, including in the car and on the train, but when I’m at home I like to have my laptop, notes and books spread across the dining room table so it looks as if I’m working really hard. I have a study upstairs, but I don’t use it for writing because it’s a cold room and too isolated from the rest of the house, whereas the dining room is warm and handy for the kitchen – I need a constant supply of coffee and snacks when I’m writing! I tell myself that the caffeine and sugar are good for maintaining brain activity, although the latter isn’t terribly good for the waistline.
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When I’m working, I’m surrounded by a variety of items not normally associated with a dining room. There’s my Georgian-style dolls house, a chamber pot, a replica oil lamp, a print of some operatic cats, a couple of paintbrushes left over from decorating, and some horsey gear, including a couple of rugs and a bridle. The idea of having to tidy some of these things away is great for focussing the mind on the next novel because writing is always much more fun than housework.
I am never alone. I leave the double doors into the living room open because I have three Border terriers who have a knack of looking incredibly sorrowful to make me feel guilty for shutting them out.
My chair looks out onto the garden and on a clear day, the morning sun streams in through the window. There’s a bird feeder just outside so I can watch the house sparrows, starlings, blue tits and robins flying in and out for food. Sometimes Figaro the cat comes to help me write, sitting down on the paper like a giant furry paperweight or padding across the keyboard to say hi. I harbour hopes that one day Figaro will type out a couple of chapters to help me out, but all he’s managed so far is ‘CXCNdmmmmmmmmmmmkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkl’, which might mean something in ‘Cat’.