Finding a place to write used to be as tricky a task as finding time to write. When I started ‘Me and Mr J’, I was writing purely for fun; grabbing spare minutes between childcare and work. The same went for a space. I’d set my laptop up on the dining room table in among the piles of ironing-in-waiting and random stacks of toys and try to work. I wrote The Number One Rule for Girls over lots of late nights in the same place. And in various soft play centres over rainy weekends and sports centre cafes during swimming lessons and football matches.
Fast forward a couple of years during which I moved house and I finally have a dedicated study just for me and I love it! I wrote This Careless Life in here and the surroundings definitely helped me to focus. And the books…I arranged them all in colour groups because it looks like art and mainly because it helps me to find them quickly. I’m terrible at remembering titles, but I’m great at visualising the covers. The only downside is the gaps when I lend them out to people and yes, I have chosen books based on the spine colour. But that’s not as sad as it sounds as it’s encouraged me to pick up new reads I might not normally choose. I have overspill bookcases other rooms, but even so, the books do creep onto the floor in here. Trying to keep the books under control is a lesson in self-discipline: I’ve got a Kindle and I’m a regular at my brilliant local library.
The two coffee tables are trunks that double up as storage where I keep all my notebooks- I still write a lot by hand- and I have a big portable whiteboard stashed away under the sofa but I like to keep all my notes either on paper or on my PC. Sometimes I use index card and Post-its when I want to visualise things as a whole, but I’m naturally untidy and a bit of a hoarder, so I like keeping things in notebooks or online. And I still end up sitting in my car with the laptop while half-watching junior cricket or football matches!