This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Taking inspiration from The Guardian's 'Writers' Rooms', Sky Arts' 'The Write Place' and Book Chick City's excellent 'Where Stories Are Made'; My Writing Room is a fabulous fortnightly event, in which some of our favourite authors show us where the writerly magic happens, and tell us a little about their writing life.
My Writing Room by Jo Carnegie
My writing room, or space, is the corner of my living room. This picture was taken on a rather grey, rainy day but normally the room is flooded with light through two big sash windows. It’s important for me to write in a light, airy room because it keeps me feeling invigorated.
My living room looks out onto a pretty tree-lined street, but I deliberately put my writing desk in the corner of a room so I have no view to distract me (I am the world’s nosiest person and an obsessive people watcher). A blank wall makes it easier for me to escape into the rolling Cotswold countryside that feature in my books. On my wall about my desk are Post It notes with writing tips I copied out of Stephen King’s autobiography On Writing. I also keep a copy of Peter Carey’s Oscar and Lucinda to dip into when I need a bit of inspiration; his work is wonderfully descriptive and imaginative.
I like to start writing early, say 8am otherwise there are always a hundred and one things that get in the way and before you know it, the day’s run off. My daily minimum is 1500 words, more I’m in full flow and I won’t turn off that laptop until I’ve done it. Effie, my fluffy black and white Jack Russell sits in her basket next to me, and if I go on for too long I can feel her eyes burning into me imploringly. Then I’ll stop and take her out the park at the end of my road. When your books are as multi-layered and character-packed as mine are, it’s really important to take breaks and refresh the old grey matter.
Even though my desk’s a bit of a mess I like writing with interesting, beautiful things around me. I always have freshly cut flowers in a vase on the table, while the Banksy canvas above my desk (not an original unfortunately) and the Tamara De Lempickas on the wall add a colourful backdrop. I like different styles all mixed up together, at the moment I’m channelling a rather incongruous mix of Art Deco, nautical living and Scandinavian. If my home environment is bright, attractive and fun, then hopefully that translates to my writing!
Sometimes I’ll write in the evenings, if I have things to do the next morning or want to go out somewhere. The great thing about being an author is that you can pretty much write when you want to, without interfering bosses and colleagues or 9-5 hours dictating your day. Yes, you have to be disciplined and like your own company, but when you love your job as much as I do, it’s no big deal.