The Things we Do…

One Sunday I ‘left home’ in a fit of anger, but cleverly enough, remembered to grab my laptop before I slammed out of the door. Instead of cooking breakfast and a slaving over a roast and doing the ‘faffing around at home on a Sunday,’ bit, I spent the whole day cocooned in my car writing as the rain lashed down outside. Result! And I only felt a tiny bit guilty when I finally returned home as the family had been out for dinner and spent most of the day trying to phone me to meet them at the restaurant. Although my hissy fit wasn’t pre-meditated, it made me wonder what extremes others have gone to, to find some writing time when you should really be doing something else, whether it’s just hiding under the table when the doorbell rings, or climbing Everest to get out of the way of the In Laws. I asked the Write Romantics what extremes they would go to for a bit of writing peace! All in the strictest confidence, of course!
Jaxx

Trying to find some peace and quiet in my house is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, it doesn’t happen. I’ve had to get used to being able to write with a mini riot going on around me and thank god that I have an iPod shuffle to drown out the noise.

In the past I have found myself getting in the car and driving to our field where we keep our two horses and sitting there in the car typing away, I’ve gone out in the garden and sat down right at the bottom because my kids are too lazy to walk that far. I’m always on the look out for someone to offer me a little piece of sanctuary and have this fantasy that one day I’ll be able to afford my very own office because right now even if I could afford to give up work, I couldn’t work from home because no-one would leave me alone long enough to do get anything done.
Helen P xx

Sometimes drastic measures are called for to get writing time. I haven’t yet stormed out of the house, but that is one to remember! I will get up at unearthly hours to enable myself to get an hour or so of writing done if it’s going to be a particularly busy day on the farm. I do however ‘sneak’ off under the pretext of something else and with my trusted pad and pencil will happily consume endless cups of coffee whilst writing. I also love writing outside – if it’s a hot sunny day. It is amazing how productive you can be when you know someone isn’t going to barge into your room and ask for something.
Helen R

I am lucky enough to get some dedicated writing slots but it’s never enough. I work at the front of the house and can see if anyone comes up the driveway, so I can ignore the door quite easily – mostly it’s people selling things anyway. I like Fridays because I leave the car up near school as my youngest daughter has a music lesson and I have to take along a big keyboard. I don’t get as many disturbances on a Friday because the house looks deserted with nobody parked in the driveway.
I always have my phone with me and use the notes section all the time. Sometimes an idea may pop into my head in the middle of school assembly (ssh, don’t tell the teachers!) and I’ll desperately type them in so that I can use them later. I think this is one of the things about a writing career that I love: any time, anywhere.
I’m also thinking of making a “do not disturb” sign for the door because my girls do interrupt me, usually when the words are flowing or I’m in the middle of an edit and have just thought of the perfect fix. Mind you, I guess before too long they’ll be teenagers and I’ll be wishing they talked to me, so perhaps I should make the most of it 🙂

I can’t say I’ve ever done anything extreme to get writing time as I write straight onto my Mac so the actual writing or editing has to be done in front of that or my laptop so is typically planned time. Planning, on the other hand, can be done in all sorts of places providing I have a notepad. I developed a huge character bio ready for book 4 whilst my daughter had a swimming lesson and I’ve written scenes or planned characters whilst invigilating tests in former recruitment jobs. I’ve also made excuses of being tired or having work to do when I’ve been staying away with work events only to return to my hotel room after dinner and write for a couple of hours rather than socialise. If I’ve got my writing head on, I can become incredibly anti-social!
Julie xx

Sometimes drastic measures are called for to get writing time. I haven’t yet stormed out of the house, but that is one to remember! I will get up at unearthly hours to enable myself to get an hour or so of writing done if it’s going to be a particularly busy day on the farm. I do however ‘sneak’ off under the pretext of something else and with my trusted pad and pencil will happily consume endless cups of coffee whilst writing. I also love writing outside – if it’s a hot sunny day. It is amazing how productive you can be when you know someone isn’t going to barge into your room and ask for something.
Rachael x

Probably the sneakiest thing I’ve done to snatch some extra writing time, is when I am teaching Saturday day schools for my uni students. You can never be quite sure how long the sessions are going to last, depending on the numbers who turn up, but I always tell my husband not to expect me home until after five. I’ve had several sessions that have ended up finishing by lunch time, but I never seem to make it home any earlier to help out with the weekend chores or the kids’ homework. There’s always a nice little coffee shop somewhere, with a table in the window for me and my laptop… and as far as the family are concerned I’m still busy teaching. Sometimes I’ve even forgotten to stop when five o’clock rolls around and had to fib about the session over-running! Such a good job that hubby doesn’t read this blog…
Jo x

“As I live on my own I think I have less problems with this than the other Write Romantics or, at least, I did until I became self employed. I thought it’d give me more time to write. WRONG! Clients think I’m always available and I only really switch off from worrying about their problems at weekends. I have (please don’t tell anyone!) occasionally switched my mobile off and pretended to be in a meeting so I can get a chapter finished. Sometimes I’ve told friends and family that I have to leave social events early claiming that I’ve got something else to do when actually I just wanted to get back to my laptop. My major problem is stopping once I’ve started. My time keeping (which has never been good) has gone completely to pot since I started writing and I’ve had to think up a whole range of inventive excuses when the truth is that I was writing and I just lost track of time!”
Alex x

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3 thoughts on “The Things we Do…

  1. We certainly all try to find the time don’t we? It’s hard to do that when you work at home.
    Apparently Judy Blume ended up renting an office above a bakery so that she could write full time…I think the gorgeous smells from the breads and cakes would render me useless!
    Helen R 🙂

  2. Ha ha ha Jo. You’ll definitely have to keep this one away from hubby! We’re missing a name on one. Is it Deirdre or Lynne above me? xx

  3. Mine is the post above yours Julie but my name has been put before it instead of after…I actually read the post above my name and thought Jackie had done some serious editing on my part 🙂 It was when it mentioned cups of coffee that I realised it wasn’t mine at all…can’t stand the stuff! X

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