I originally wrote this for Novelicious, it’s my favourite section on the blog, and sadly I’m not sure if it’s going anymore, sniff. So, I thought I’d share it with you all anyway, as I always love seeing an author’s writing space!
The first writing room I ever fell in love with was Jo March’s from Little Women. I loved her special attic, where she kept her ink-stained manuscripts, along with the costumes from the plays she wrote, and that as a young girl she wrote while wearing her special ‘writerly uniform.’ I have a uniform now too; only mine are pajamas.
I’ve been lucky enough to have two writing rooms in my life. My last one was back in South Africa, it was big and wide, and had wall to ceiling shelves but I rarely got to use it.
My second, writing room, is at my new home in the English countryside in Suffolk, and is perhaps the more special, though perhaps not as grand as my first. It’s little more than a snug, but I love it perhaps even more, because here I have realised a long held dream here of being a full-time writer.
It has a dormer window, and while I write I see the tops of the sky and the occasional seagull flying past, as we are quite close to sea. The room is filled with all the things I love from bunting to books, my collection of elephant figurines, and the pottery frog I made when I was eight. I used the countryside as my inspiration and have used apple crates as bookshelves, which create a rustic look that I love.
There are two desks in the room. One is my antique writing desk – which my husband bought me for my birthday a few years ago, it in part inspired the story behind the postcard in my novel A Cornish Christmas, but I write on the other, bigger desk. It’s really a small dining table, which I painted a soft grey, during my French country phase. It’s big enough to keep all my research, including the dozens of notebooks in which I scribble things down for the books I’m writing. It also holds things that inspire me, like the old grey typewriter my father-in-law bought me from a car show a few years ago.
When the house is quiet and my husband is out, my room is an oasis of calm and on good days I can sit here and write for hours, but as he works from home most days it can be a challenge, as he comes in regularly to use the printer, have a moan about his day, or suggest a spot of housework and I suggest throttling him instead. Most days I welcome the company – if not the moaning, other days I want to pay the postie to take him away.
My other visitor is far more quiet, though no less demanding, my lazy bulldog, Fudge, makes the trek up most afternoons, which sounds as if the house is falling apart as she lands with a heavy thud on each step. It is the funniest, happiest sound, and it always makes me laugh. It takes around a full three minutes for her to get to the top and always makes me feel rather special that she went to all the effort. Usually she goes straight to her upstairs bed (she has two, yes she is spoiled), but mostly she likes to lie on the blanket on my legs, pawing at my shins to pat her head, while I try to type.
The other part of my writing room is really just a few feet away and is the bedroom. It’s where I head when things get tough and I’m feeling a bit stuck or feeble, there’s something about lying in bed and editing or working out a scene that really helps, perhaps as it feels less like ‘work.’ The danger though is not getting out of the bloody bed, so I make sure I make it as soon as I get up, then it’s out the door to the snug for me.