So this is where the next book will be penned. Bit exposed to the elements, I admit, but you have to use your imagination. Because following an imminent erection, a writing den will adorn the bottom of my garden. It will have a small wood burner, gnarled furniture, but mostly solitude. Just the sound of the river and birdsong for company.
As I settle into the hard graft of the next novel, I’m increasingly aware of distractions: a phone call, a visitor, the interweb and all its prosaic lure. I’ve always had an envy for writers who take themselves away, immersing in deepest, darkest somewhere, barely a candle and some stale bread for sustenance, as snow piles up around their cabin, communication with the outside world put from temptation’s reach. The intensity of just them and the book, finally emerging months, years later, bearded (even the women), half their body weight gone, triumphantly holding aloft a manuscript of sheer genius.
And whereas this seclusion is possible for a week or two – plenty of writerly friends book themselves a retreat of sorts – the practicalities of real life prevent it occuring on any grand scale. So I thought I’d bring the retreat to me. A little snug with no phone line, just out of wireless range, no electricity. Accessible in ten seconds. I will go there, a-hum, every day and just write.
So what of the next book? Well, firstly writing to a (publisher induced) deadline is a new experience. Novel #1 was forged amid the luxury of timelessness (other than a self-imposed goal, by way of keeping insanity at bay). I wrote when I wanted to, at the pace I felt like. And so there’s motivation and a little terror the whole way this time. I’m having to revise my idea of discipline and commitment. And for the first time in life, I’m learning to say No.
Coming soon: 'AFTER'