I’m often asked about the logistics of writing novels in a house where a husband, three kids and two dogs also reside. And the truthful answer is, it’s hard. I’ve had to train myself to write surrounded by family life: kids constantly circling asking for ipad chargers or snacks; a husband who loves the constant hum of the radio; dogs who want to go outside, oh hang on, no they don’t, oh my mistake, yes, they actually do.
In the past I couldn’t write a word if the house wasn’t empty or quiet, and as much as I longed to be the type of writer who wrote novels in local coffee shops, forget it, those cappuccino frothers are LOUD! But if I waited for silence to descend in order to put fingers to keyboard, then I wouldn’t write. Ever. I’ve long had a dream of having a writing cave, a tiny space, outside the house, perhaps a shed, or even better a shepherd’s hut, where I can tuck myself away and just write, away from the chaos of family life, but thus far, it hasn’t meant to be. I have a photo of the shepherd’s hut I want as my screensaver on my laptop to help me pretend I’m actually in one, peacefully cracking on with the next novel, whereas in reality I’m sat at my kitchen table, the remnants from lunch still scattered around me. My husband has the radio on the background, my middle child is bouncing his tennis ball rhythmically against the wall outside, my youngest has the canned laughter of an American tween sitcom echoing through the house, the dogs are barking at a horse going past and Harry Styles is singing loudly upstairs in my daughter’s bedroom (she wishes!) and while writing a blog isn’t exactly the same as emotionally connecting with one of my characters, I’m still succeeding to put words on a page, and for that, I am going to take a moment and high five myself. After I’ve told my family to put a lid on it, the neighbours are going to complain about the noise in a minute.