This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
My Writing Room by Sophie Duffy
I have always written in bed. All my homework, O levels, A levels, first degree and Masters, were all done, studied and revised for in whatever bed I had at the time – the 2 foot 6 inch childhood bed, the dodgy-springed-ever-so-slightly-Tracey-Emin student bed, the marriage bed. My bed is my office – it has all I need – a notebook, my phone, my laptop, Filofax, pen, Habitat blanket. And my dog to keep me silent company (not that she’s officially even allowed upstairs). Plus the room overlooks our garden and I can watch my kids doing dare devil stunts on the trampoline and in the distance is the sea – which I can hear in winter when the surf’s up and busy.
I started writing fiction about ten years ago when the kids were aged 3, 5 and 6. Spare time was scarce and I had to fit writing in where I could – while they watched Teletubbies and Blue Peter, while I was cooking tea, while they were busy with Lego and Barbies. I never had the luxury of writer’s block as there wasn’t time. I learnt early on to write in short bursts and I have never quite recovered those early years of mad creative energy. At the weekends I would retreat to bed and instead of catch up on sleep I would write. It’s all I could think about.
Now they are teenagers and I have longer stretches of time, I find other ways of filling it when I know I should be writing – my younger self would be telling me to get on with it and I should listen to her. But life changes. I’ve changed. Now I have the dog for company during the day and I go out for walks on the beach and wrestle with story ideas and character traits. But it’s still my bed I come back to.
The bedroom is not the tidiest but it is full of family nostalgia which inspires me; family is what I am interested in and what I write about. There are old photos of my brothers and me, long-gone family members, my babies. My grandmother’s Edmund Dulac illustrations cover two walls. Books and old papers are piled up on the floor next to my side of the bed. A chair lurks somewhere beneath discarded clothes that wait to be hung up again. I suppose my writing room reflects the kind of writer I am (chaotic). It also reflects my writing which is down-to-earth.
Now if I could just get the dog off my feet I could get on with some more…