Where is your dedicated writing place? Do you have one?
I’ve trained myself to write anywhere—amid noisy kids and cats and piles of mess. I usually write at the computer on my desk in the dining room. Sometimes I write on my laptop, and occasionally—if I need peace—I go to the library.
When do you routinely sit down to work on your novel?
With children at home, I’ve written between 5am and 7am (5 days a week) when everybody is asleep—because it’s the only time I’ve had. My youngest started school this year so, depending on work commitments, my routine may change. I do find the quiet morning time productive, so I’ll probably stick with it.
What is your writing routine? Steve Carroll describes his as one hour reading, one hour staring out the window, one hour writing.
I try to have an idea, if not a plan, in mind the night before. I go to sleep thinking about it and wake up clear on what I’m going to write (not that this always works!) I usually start straight away (sometimes I check my emails first, but I don’t reply to them)—I’ve never had the luxury of time to procrastinate. I let what I’ve written wash over me during the day and I often make changes as I think of them—or put my thoughts into a notebook which I carry with me at all times. Then I rewrite and rewrite and rewrite until I think I can’t rewrite anymore. And then I rewrite again. I workshop with my writers’ group and when I think my work is ready, I have a few trusted friends (who are also writers) read for me and provide feedback and advice. And then I rewrite again with their feedback in mind.
At night, I read.