Take us through your writing process. Do you keep a regular writing schedule? Do you write on your laptop or longhand? Do you have a favourite place to write? Are you most inspired in the morning, afternoon, evening, or middle of the night?
How I write depends on where I am and what tools I have available. It also has to do with what I’m writing at the time. I always write poems in longhand as most ideas come when I’m out and about, sitting in a café, in the car, waiting rooms, anywhere people can be observed going about their day to day lives. I almost always carry a small notebook in my handbag, often jam-packed with scraps of paper used on the occasions I’ve forgotten the book. Even when I’m at my computer I’ll still write all poetry in longhand in my journal, as well as ideas for stories, research notes etc. I do this so that when I set up a file to begin a project I have a clear idea of what it is I’ll be writing about.
Almost all of my writing comes from this beginning and progresses on to my desktop pc. I can’t quite get it together on my laptop or tablet, saving these only for emergencies, because I prefer to work across two monitors, one open for research and the other for the document I’m working on. This can have its downside at times, when I allow myself to become distracted by social media or side-track away from the research topic but, despite these diversions, I get there in the end. This, by default, makes my desk my favourite place to write. The space is comfortable and has a large window looks out onto the back yard with views of the pond and a maturing garden. Book shelves either side of the desk keep hard copy research material within easy reach.
My favourite time of the day to write is, well, anytime at all. I’m really a morning person, however, once I’m on a roll with something the time of day or night means nothing. The greatest challenge for me is in maintaining a sense of fairness. With only my husband and me at home, it seems selfish to lock myself away leaving him on his own, and this would invite interruptions or questions, so I find it better to schedule around both of our working times. Middle of the night writing is reserved for those nagging ideas that refuse to lie down, when I am the only one awake and plagued by ideas or a line of a poem that begs to be written. At these times I take my ‘next to the bed’ notebook and write until I’ve written enough to prompt me when I wake up and to appease the writing demon into allowing me to sleep.