PEACE AND QUIET?


    I'm lucky - I have a study to write in.(A room of one's own, in Virginia Woolf 's famous phrase.) But this wasn't always the case. My first two novels were written at the back of the sitting room in our old house. I developed the skill of tuning out the noise of the children playing, but I usually wrote when they were at school or asleep. I also wrote - and still do - in corners of time. I have never been a full time fiction writer. There has always been something going on
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      But it's surprising how successfully this can work. The trick is to be flexible as well as consistent, and take your energy levels into account as well as your circumstances.

      Make your writing time a non-negotiable period of the day. Ideally, write when you feel fresh and mentally agile. Books have been written on commuter trains, but if you are writing in these conditions, do schedule in some proper desk time too, when you have peace and quiet.

      Which is my sixth suggestion for The Words from How to be a Writer. (I'm posting my ten ideas over ten days. Expect a brief pause after that, and I'll then be writing about learning your craft and the pros and cons of writing courses.)

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