Posts Tagged ‘writing secrets’

When not writing is still writing

July 17, 2017 1 comment

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog.  It’s been a while since I did much writing at all, to be honest.

At least, that’s one way of looking at it.

Looking at it another way, I’ve been writing every day.  Because writing doesn’t only happen when you’re sitting down in front of the laptop or when you have your notebook out and your pen poised for action.  When you’re a writer, everything you see and do and experience is potentially part of what eventually makes it onto the page.

That tic that you barely notice in the woman sitting across from you on the train might resurface in a completely different character in a completely different setting.  The way you feel when you catch that look your kids give each other that makes you realise they have their own sibling world that you can only ever be on the periphery of; that article you read about a council officer whose job is to arrange funerals for tenants who have no next of kin; that lobster creel you see sitting on the harbourside; that conversation you overhear on the bus.  Any or all of these might end up somewhere in a story.  And not just the next time you write – it could be months or years later.

I’m getting back into the way of putting pen to paper and fingers to keys at the moment. But that doesn’t mean that the time I have spent doing other things isn’t equally vital to my writing life.

That’s my excuse anyway, and I’m sticking to it.


Secrets of a writer’s desk

June 24, 2015 4 comments

There are many, many secrets of being a writer.  Of course, I can’t tell you what they all are, as then they wouldn’t be secret any more.  But I think I could maybe let you into one or two, as long as you promise not to tell anyone else.

On my desk, I have this lovely little chest of drawers, a present from my sister.


It’s one of those things that I didn’t know I needed until I actually had it and it’s now become a vital element in my writing toolbox.  In this drawer, I keep map pins, which I use to pin things to the noticeboard over my desk.


In this drawer I keep something really vital for my writing – handwarmers.


My fingers get so cold that sometimes it’s hard to type or write, so I put my handwarmers on.  I knitted them myself from some Jacobs’ humbug one ply yarn handspun by Jennie Howes. In fact, knitwear is quite important to me in my attempt to keep warm while getting words onto the page – I’ve already written about my embarrassing cardigan.

In this drawer live my memory sticks – an important belt-and-braces extra place to save my latest work, just in case anything happens to my laptop or the cloud or the files I regularly email to myself.


These next two drawers are for keeping little chocolatey treats to help coax the writing process along.


As you can see, they’re currently empty.  I need to do some filling up very soon as chocolate and tea/coffee are pretty essential to my writing process. Any chocolatey donations will be gratefully received…

Which leaves this drawer.


And I’m not going to tell you what’s in it.  A writer has to keep some secrets after all. You can ask all you like, but my lips are firmly sealed.

What would you keep in a secret drawer?