How (And Where) on Earth Do I Write a Book?

photography of book page
Photo by Nitin Arya on Pexels.com

There are a lot bloggers here who are writing, or have been pondering for years on writing a book. Well, I fall into the latter category, have a mass of material and am now just starting to try to put it all together.

The problem (and oh and there are so many), is that all I want to do is to have a month to myself in a small room with no distractions. The likelihood of this? Nil. So I have to improvise.

Yesterday however, I did something completely out of character and perhaps more in line with an activity for the over 70’s; I took the Colonel to visit Ham House and gardens. But before you offer my unfortunate husband any sympathy whatsoever, he has a trip to Rome this week and therefore is in no position to make a fuss or complain, not that I am remotely jealous (she says with a derogatory sniff and twitch of her nose as she beats the green-eyed monster to the ground with a large shovel).

I had cycled past Ham House a couple of months ago and put it on the old bucket list. And well worth it too. Built in the 1600’s it made us stop and gaze and wonder and take a trip back into the life and times of the Fire of London and the Plague, when maps were dubious in their accuracy, baths were a rarity and men and women of a certain class and wealth had their own designated areas in the house.

A couple of particular rooms that both the male and female apartments had within the house were tiny ‘closets’ (not as in dressing room or to be confused with a bathroom), but a tiny room with a fireplace and an area for some sort of a daybed and a desk where he or she could escape to, rest, or write. Can you imagine?! What a joy!

Now understandably these rich souls had to deal with all sorts of other problems that we generally don’t have (such as giving birth to 11 children obviously not all at the same time without the wonders of mind-altering and pain-blocking drugs, infancy death, no clean water and therefore drinking beer instead – were they all drunk? etc etc) I do however rather envy them having their very own ‘closet’. One could escape for hours at a time and write in relative peace and quiet. I could escape for hours at a time and write in relative peace and quiet! Of course, there isn’t really much room here in our military house to create such a room and I suspect our housing officer might raise an eyebrow or two if I started knocking down the occasional wall but you get my gist. A place of my own, with a log burner, armchair, lots of Jane Churchill fabric, a secret stash of ginger nuts and a large no entry sign on the door (in a pretty eau de nil distressed piece of shaped wood). Perfect.

But sadly, unless I compromise, take refuge in either the clothes cupboard or the understairs cupboard and switch the log burner for a hot water bottle, I fear I shall have to continue with my writing in the comparative norm like everyone else of the kitchen, with my iPad attached to the wall by the cable that isn’t quite long enough to reach the little table and chair as I forgot once again to charge it overnight.

So yes, I stand and type, grasping an hour here, an hour there trying to create a book so wonderful that eventually someone, anyone, ideally a desperate agent will give me a flicker of hope and perhaps, just perhaps one day on amazon at 0.001 pence you might be able to find a book written by me, about a woman and her lowly bicycle Claude … who knows?

And, in the meantime, I think I might just move the Colonel’s uniforms from the cupboard and try and make a little more space … I can almost fit in there if I bend my legs to the left and push the handbags and shoes to the right … oh! So that’s where I hid my jewellery when I was away … golly now I can tell the Colonel it’s back from the menders …

Katie xx

Where do you write? Do you have a perfect hideaway?

17 thoughts on “How (And Where) on Earth Do I Write a Book?”

  1. I live on my own too but have the luxury of a spare room converted into a study/creative space so consider myself very lucky. Although, I have to confess, I can occasionally be found balancing notebooks and pens on the corner of the sofa whilst simultaneously trying to watch the television and keep the cat at bay!

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  2. My children have all left home now so I am usually sat on the settee lucky for me in front of the log burner although no logs as yet. I have a boyfriend of three years and if we ever decide to take the plunge and buy somewhere together I have a feeling I may miss this quiet writing space which is my home.

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  3. This is a very real struggle! My other problem is that an hour here or there is not enough because I usually take a full hour to be able to start writing.
    And that is the point at which whatever distraction or neighbor’s house my sweet little variables are at expires.

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  4. I once began taking to sitting in our downstairs coat cupboard (plus shoes, scarves, ironing board, dumbells…) Until one day I thought, “What if the door handle comes off and I’m stuck in here, unable to fetch my daughter from school?” So I started taking my phone in there. But I then thought, “What if I can’t get a signal?” So I then began keeping the door ajar, but having shards of light penetrate my dark, quiet ares, kinda ruined the effect of being in a silent mysterious space, so I gave up. Plus, I kept banging my ankle on the iron. I do hope you manage to get your writing closet soon. I’m sure it makes all the difference. Maybe you could rent a beach hut?

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  5. I have a desk in our room that is a combination writing space and makeup table that I do some writing on, but lately, it’s either been on the couch in front of the TV (usually with Netflix on), or the utterly predictable afternoon or random hour at Starbucks or some other free wifi place that serves beverages and doesn’t care about people loitering for an hour or three.

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  6. I don’t have a perfect hideaway where I write except in my head! I suspect I am just making excuses not to get going. Half a draft gathering dust and another idea taking shape in my head and I catch myself romanticising about a little cottage with a shed at the end of the little garden that I’ll transform into into an office and metalsmith workshop. THEN I’ll turn both into real, actual, finished books! I’m like that with lots of things and doing my best now to get my arse in gear. I buy the GPS fitness tracker, new gear from Sweaty Betty and plan lots of running routes. And then….. Well, Sweaty Betty stuff is super comfortable and I’m snug as I curl up on the sofa and play around with the features of the tracker. Actually I’m now trying to call my own bullshit – LACE UP THOSE TRAINERS AND GO! We have Bushy Park less than 200 yards from our front door. I literally have no excuse. But yes, the idea of a writing hideaway – a loft, a shed or perhaps THAT specific table/corner at the favourite cafe. I just know that it’s not where I write that’s stopping me. I’m not at all saying this is the case for you because it doesn’t sound like it – you have lots of material written!! – but this really made me think about how I make excuses and how everything in my world is so much about “I would do [insert whichever project – exercise, writing, whatever] IF only I had [XYZ], THEN I’d really fly”. I’m should have ‘procrastination’ tattooed somewhere, possibly across my forehead. It’s all manana, manana with me… 🙂 xx

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    1. I totally get this! And procrastination is an absolute killer for me … I have to fight it on everything that I do otherwise I’d end up a zombie on the sofa surrounded by coffee cups and dvds. I think what helps me with the book is having told a few family members I now HAVE to do it! It was a bit like the cycling … once I’d told everyone that I was going to do it, (even though I wouldn’t have) I just couldn’t change my mind!! So it sort of worked in my favour. Having said all of that, I’ve had a few hiccups at home the last few days so have put the book to the side and will continue mid-week next week.
      Have a lovely Sunday! I’m taking my eldest today off to University for the first time – he’s so excited and I’m so excited for him! Xx

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