finding the right writing time/place

This is something I struggle with – finding a comfortable space where I can concentrate my mind to tackle the tasks I need to do. I’d love to have a solid, old, and heavy as a chevet desk at which I could read and write. Inspiration would ooze from its worn surface, my mind would tunnel vision into my work, and the early morning light would dance across the surface of this desk. I would sit at it with my cup of coffee in the early morning hours, cloistered away from distractions during my productive hours. It would be at this desk that brilliance would form, take shape, and come out on the pages of my laptop.
But, unfortunately, we are not all lucky enough to have such a set up. Instead, we must make do with libraries, shared office spaces, or kitchen counters. But, the essence of what we need can be found within….usually after a cup of coffee or two.


I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. That is, my feet are in it, the rest of me is on the draining board.

This is how Dodie Smith began I capture the castle, a journal-style novel about a teenager living in a decaying English castle. It’s a killer opening and we should all be so lucky to write something so immediately attention-grabbing. However what interests me about it today is the notion of a place for writing being important enough to write about.

One of the things I learnt while doing my PhD was that it was important to set up a distinctive routine around writing. I found one that worked for me. I got up at 5 or 6 in the morning, pulled on a pair of track pants, T-shirt and perhaps a cardigan, made a cup of tea, and then went into my office where I…

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