Monday, May 6, 2013


·         Space: Before you start, make some space. I don’t care where your space is but if you are seated, overlooking a beautiful view, chances are you are going to spend a lot of valuable writing time enjoying that view. That said, you want your writing space to be comfy, cosy and have room enough so you can spread out your notes and your laptop or computer out. I have a large, old dining room table but at the moment I prefer to work in a coffee shop that serves fab coffee and tea (and iced chocolates when I need them… oh, and vanilla milkshakes). I try to take some fruit with me, because that’s healthy.
·         Noise: Silence is golden, Lovelies (sometimes). Fix your noise issues: know how you concentrate best. When I am at home, writing by myself, I like some sound, but controlled sound. I like a cd or a dvd (not the news, because then I listen to it and not the TV because then I watch it) playing in the room. This background noise keeps me from listening to the birds tweeting, the neighbours shouting or cars in the street (neighbourhood noise is not pretty when you are trying to concentrate on your sentences, Lovelies). But that’s me – you may need noise. You decide that; just make sure you have it covered.
·         People: Sort out your peeps. You may want to tell the world you are writing a novel. That’s great – that’s your call. I would advise against it unless you know the peeps you are talking to are going to be supportive. A word of warning, sometimes even your best friends may doubt your abilities – that doesn’t mean you should. However, if you tell everyone (or anyone outside your nearest and dearest) there is pressure on you that you don’t need at the start.
·         Exhibit A: I had a very old and dear friend (I say had, remember) and he said to me when I told him about my first novel… ‘Wow, you’ve been working on that for ages… how long is it taking you to get that published?’  He was not supportive of me when the going was tough.  Your true friends should be supportive but don’t test the friendship too soon. Make sure you are selective about who you mention your ideas to, who reads your work, and when.
·         Let’s just say, in my humble experience, it’s better to keep the pressure off and TELL NO ONE until you are sure you are okay if you don’t get the encouragement you are hoping to receive.   
·         Your desk: Just make sure it’s the right height. Big is better. This process may start out small (just your laptop), but as your story progresses you are going to need a lot of space for notes, drafts, maybe even story boards… and other stuff.
·         Your chair: I can’t stress this enough. Get an office chair! I like one that is padded, comfy and swivel. Make sure it is the right height (and adjustable) for you. Trust me; your back is going to thank you one day.