Author of the sensational The Taste of Blue Light tells us about her writing space and how it helps and inspires her to write.
In bed. I wrote the first draft of THE TASTE OF BLUE LIGHT in bed and on the floor in my London flat in between migraines and MRIs. I have a neurological condition and was in the middle of a year-long flare up when I started writing it – probably sounds quite depressing but it was great to have something creative to do when I felt well enough. I still often write and edit in bed, which is a bit gross but also a good way of tricking yourself into doing work before you’ve woken up properly.
Anywhere, everywhere. I love travelling and always have my laptop with me. Planes, trains and hotels are great places to work – I’ve written everywhere from a B&B in Essex where I was doing some research to in an underground capsule hotel in Japan. A change of scene like a café, library or gallery works just as well for me, as long as I have noise-cancelling headphones because I’m easily distracted. Going for walks also helps – you can write in your head or jot down notes as you go. Personally I think it’s good to get in the habit of being able to write anywhere – I don’t subscribe to the theory that you have to write every day to be a writer but, if you can use dead time to bash out 200-300 words at some point each day, you’ll have a first draft in a year.
Home office. My flat is basically a habitable, multi-media writing scrapbook when I’m working on a novel. Making photo boards and doodling helps when I’m getting to know my characters so I’ll stick them up at my desk, and burn certain candles and build playlists too. Sticking to a routine doesn’t work for me so sometimes I work on my balcony or on the kitchen floor, especially if I’m editing as I like to spread the pages out and literally walk through the story then get the scissors out. Occasionally, I sit at my actual desk.
Down the rabbit hole. I get quite anti-social when I’m in the zone and often just hide my phone in a drawer so I can’t be disturbed. My best friend Dayna calls it ‘going down the rabbit hole.’ She doodled these pictures of me diving into the hole headfirst and her having to fish me out with what looks like spaghetti (Note: offering pasta is an effective way to get me to do pretty much anything).