I love seeing pictures of where writers do their writing. It always amazes me that JK Rowling managed to write the first Harry Potter novel sitting at a table in a cafe. I know authors who happily tap away on their laptops, or scribble in their notebooks on trains, buses, in the dentist’s waiting room, sitting in the car while waiting to collect children …
Unfortunately, I don’t work like that at all. I hate any kind of noise or distraction when I’m writing, which is a shame really, because I’d quite like to listen to music when I write. I’m constantly thinking about my WIP wherever I am and making notes in my head, but I like to do my actual writing at home, in my own little office. I didn’t always have my own space, and I really appreciate the fact that I do now, so I was fascinated by this post from Lynne Shelby, who tells us all about her writing room and why she loves it so much. Welcome, Lynne.
“A Room of One’s Own”.
For years I wrote anywhere – in the car while waiting for daughters to come out of ballet lessons or in the staff canteen at work – but when my eldest moved into her own flat, what had been her bedroom became my writing room.
I made my writing desk myself from a flatpack, only discovering after I’d built it that it was far too high for me, or, bizarrely, anyone of human proportions. The thought of sawing the legs shorter and still keeping them level was somewhat daunting, so the solution was to acquire a high bar-stool to sit on while I write (I won’t repeat the comments this seating arrangement suggested to friends and family, but most of them featured wine), which also gives me a great view out over my garden. I live in a town, but when I look out of the window, I see flowers, trees and the occasional urban fox or red kite.
On my desk is my laptop, a box of index cards on which I’ve noted my characters’ age, eye-colour etc, a loose-leaf folder containing research notes, a much-thumbed thesaurus, and the most important tool for a writer: a coffee mug. There are also objects that take up temporary residence to inspire a particular story: shells and sea glass while I was writing my next novel, Take A Chance On Me, due out in June 2020, which is set by the sea, and a reproduction of a Greek vase now that I’m writing a novel set in Greece. In the morning my desk looks tidy and organised, but by the afternoon the smooth wooden surface has disappeared under notebooks, reference books, and a scattering of pens and highlighters.
To the right of my desk are shelves containing books by some of my favourite authors, and various crystals and rocks I’ve brought back from my travels. There’s a small carving of a bear that came from Alaska (where we didn’t see any bears, but we did see whales), and a horse from Iceland (where we saw many herds of small, sturdy Icelandic horses). The wolf figurine is there just because I like wolves, rather than because it is attached to a memory. As is the dragon.
Against the wall opposite the window, is a chest of drawers containing decades-old typescripts (you never know when a paragraph you wrote years ago might come in useful for a new story), and propped up in front of it is a cork board where I pin up images that inspire my current WIP, such as photos of my story’s location. When I’m writing my first draft, the noticeboard also gets covered with post-it notes as I think of details to add to chapters I’ve already written or have a sudden idea about a plot twist yet to come.
As a writer of contemporary romance, I also get inspiration from the images I’ve hung on the walls of my writing room. Just inside the door is a poster of Klimt’s ‘The Kiss,’ and the romance theme is continued on the opposite wall where there are posters of one of Jack Vettriano’s passionate couples, and Dicksee’s ‘Romeo and Juliet.’
There are still times when I write in other places like planes or trains, but my favourite place to write is in my writing room, perched on a bar stool at my giant desk.
Blurb for my latest novel:
There She Goes
When aspiring actress Julie Farrell meets actor Zac Diaz, she is instantly attracted to him, but he shows no interest in her. Julie, who has yet to land her first professional acting role, can’t help wishing that her life was more like a musical, and that she could meet a handsome man who’d sweep her into his arms and tap-dance her along the street…
After early success on the stage, Zac has spent the last three years in Hollywood, but has failed to forge a film career. Now back in London, he is determined to re-establish himself as a theatre actor. Focused solely on his work, he has no time for distractions, and certainly no intention of getting entangled in a committed relationship…
Auditioning for a new West End show, Julie and Zac act out a love scene, but will they ever share more than a stage kiss?
You can buy There She Goes here.
Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction/romance. Her debut novel, French Kissing, was published when it won a national writing competition. Her latest novel, There She Goes, is set in the world of London’s Theatreland. She has worked at a variety of jobs from stable girl to child actor’s chaperone to legal administrator, but now writes full time. When not writing or reading, Lynne can usually be found at the theatre watching a musical, or exploring a foreign city – Paris, New York, Rome, Copenhagen, Seattle, Athens – writer’s notebook, camera and sketchbook in hand. She lives in London with her husband, and has three adult children who live nearby.
Find out more about Lynne on her website
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And on Instagram.