Sunday, June 17, 2012

How do I do it - writing, that is?

If you look at the photos of writers - the official ones - they are usually in front of a laden book case (some tidy, some messy) and/or looking meaningfully into the camera or just off to the side or they are at their desk in front of their computer/typewriter/notebook.

Many writers talk about their routine which, in all its varieties, still means solid hours with bum on seat doing the business of writing. These are the lucky writers - mostly non New Zealand writers - who earn enough money from their writing to have it has their JOB.

They are the ones I envy. Not because they earn enough from their writing to make it their sole occupation (although, that might be nice if I didn't love teaching so much) but that they have so much TIME.

I shouldn't moan. I get the weekends and school holidays although having a family often eats large chunks of that time (yesterday being a prime example for me: planned to do shopping for senior ball and then hair-do for teenager in the morning; writing all afternoon. What happened was teenager slept in; Hair appointment was a disaster. Cue tears and frustration and a reinjuring of her broken ankle and, well, there went the rest of the day. Mummy hat staying on firmly while my characters mumbled and complained under the writer hat stuffed down beside my bed.

Which comes to why I started this post. I have a study. (click on the word study to see it). It's beautiful. Spacious. Large table, bookshelves with all my essentials and even a bed to curl up on if I want. Trouble is, I have to go outside and across the garden to get to it. It's freezing in winter and too hot in summer (and if I leave the door open, the flies come in). Worse, internet access is intermittent.

Sounds perfect and it is. I don't need to 'go away' to get away to write. The children rarely bother me if I'm out there because that necessities them doing something more than yelling my name.

I also have a lovely little corner in my bedroom (click on link to view) with a desk and a lamp and some writer essentials. It's close to the kitchen and the bathroom. What more could I want?

So, where do I do most of my writing? Where I'm doing it now: in front of the fire, in the living room, in my PJs with a coffee with the dogs and the kids and the telephone and the comings and goings of the family.

I realized this morning that this is exactly how I have written most of my books: amongst the chaos of family. I am the hub and I'm also rather nosey so I like to be where the action is. I have enjoyed having the solitude to write (paid for by a grant from Creative NZ) and did some solid work then but I'm most comfortable where I am right now: feet up on the couch, lap top on my knees, coffee and chocolate and warmth and whanau where I can reach them.