I’m happy to say that I’ve talked to everyone staying here now at the Weymouth house (maybe, unless there is someone in hiding. And that’s entirely possible). I’m here with two other novelists and a playwright. It’s interesting to see the different patterns of how people write.
For the most part, I write in bed. Pillows propped up behind me. Coffee and water on the night stand nearby. I wake up, grab the laptop, check the social media rounds, and start writing. Wait – turn off the internet access – then start writing. I also need silence. I find music distracting. I’m also writing historical fiction – so perhaps music will only work if I have some Irish harps or Appalachian bluegrass (depending on which novel in progress I’m working on). I prefer silence.
I can’t write creatively at a desk. There’s something work-like about it. I can write lesson plans at a desk. I’ll sit at the desk to answer email or send out review requests or write this blog, but that’s not where the story gets done. However, I’m finding this chair really comfortable, so I’ll try it today. Let’s see what happens.
Every writer here has a different place. One writer doesn’t like confined spaces.She works in the common room or outside on the porch (we had a gorgeous polar vortex day of about 80 degrees and low humidity). She’s at the desk with music playing. She has the complete and total ability to focus – she doesn’t seem distracted by those of us who wander into the kitchen for a coffee refill. Another is in her room, like me, and another finds a great long table in one of the open rooms in the mansion. She writes at night, she says. Two of us prefer to write our first drafts in longhand, two do not.I do get distracted, even in this room. The windows look out onto the grounds, which are lovely. It’s a temptress window, a siren. Take a walk now…don’t wait until the end of the chapter…don’t wait for another thousand words…
There’s also the birds. Remnants of Christmas decorations, they somehow found their way into the Paul Green room. I like the birds. They remind me of my grandmother who loved birds but they do tend to stare me down.
Stop looking out the window, say the birds. Write, edit, revise. Get back to work.