Today I’m thrilled to be have a guest post from Kerry Barrett, author of Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (get hold of your copy here) Kerry is going to be giving us an insight into her writing day…Enjoy!
My writing day
In my head my writing day is like this. I wake up after a perfect night’s sleep, wave my beautiful children off to school, go for a run or do a spin class, eat a healthy delicious breakfast, probably on my terrace with a sea view in the sunshine (it’s always summer in my ideal writing day). Then I go to my stylish (and tidy) attic study – again with a sea view – and write 2000 excellent words. Then the rest of the day is mine to spend with the children and my husband, chatting about our day or putting the world to rights over a glass of wine as the sun sets.
That’s how it is in my head. The reality is a bit (a lot!) different.
I normally have a hectic start to the day, whirling around sorting out my oldest son’s school stuff (“Mum, I need new plimsolls because there’s only one in my PE bag, and I need them for today…”) and my youngest’s bag for preschool and the childminder. I try to make lunch to take to work, but I don’t always succeed. I normally race for the train and if I don’t get it, I’m lucky enough to have another – slightly slower – four minutes later. I’m on the late train as I write this and I’ve been on that train every day this week! But when I get on board the 8.04 to Charing Cross, my writing day begins. Until last week I wrote in Muji notebooks, hunched over my bag, squashed among the other passengers, and scribbling away. Then I would type up what I’d written that day each evening. But with my next deadline looming, I realised that wasn’t very time efficient, so I treated myself to an iPad mini with a tiny keyboard, and now I type on the train. It’s brilliant. My first morning with the iPad I wrote 800 words during my 30-minute journey. So now I’m hoping that deadline isn’t as impossible as it seemed two weeks ago.
The rest of my day is mostly spent at work (I write for a TV mag called All About Soap). Sometimes I’ll sneakily play with plotting or jot down ideas while I’m catching up on Corrie or EastEnders at my desk. Then I write again on the way home. I collect my boys from the childminder, have a bit of time with them, before bath and bed, then dinner with my husband (and often an episode of whatever US drama we’re watching – at the moment it’s Fargo, which is brilliant!) and then the laptop comes out again and I write some more.
I’ve learned now that writing for five minutes is better than not writing at all – so I carry my notebook about and write whenever I have time. I often get a lot done in my son’s swimming lesson on Saturday mornings, for example.
Our south-London semi may not have a sea view or a sun-drenched terrace, and I may not have a book-lined study but after a lot of trial and error (A LOT) and many, many (MANY) excuses, I’ve finally come up with a way of making space for writing in my life. And I’m very pleased I have!
A Kind of Magic
Part-time witch, full-time glamorous high-flyer Esme Mcleod rubs shoulders with celebrities for a living, has a sort-of-boyfriend …and just enough magic in her fingertips to solve life’s little irritations; why shouldn’t she cast a little spell to catch the busy barman’s attention, or to summon a latte to aid her all-nighters? Called back to her small Scottish home town and meddling family, stiletto-clad Esme is way out of her comfort zone… But Esme must embrace her abilities as a witch, or watch her family lose their beloved café. Except Esme has never claimed to be a whizz at witchcraft, and her charms are starting to go awry – she certainly never meant to cast a love spell on her ex-boyfriend Jamie! It’s time for urgent lessons in magic as well as love – it seems there’s only so much that muttering a few words over cupcake batter will fix…
Kerry Barrett was a bookworm from a very early age, devouring Enid Blyton and Noel Streatfeild, before moving on to Sweet Valley High and 1980s bonkbusters. She did a degree in English Literature, then trained as a journalist, writing about everything from pub grub to EastEnders. Her first novel, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, took six years to finish and was mostly written in longhand on her commute to work, giving her a very good reason to buy beautiful notebooks. Kerry lives in London with her husband and two sons, and Noel Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes is still her favourite novel.
Huge thanks to Kerry Barrett appearing on Bookaholic Confessions and to Leah over at Girls Love To Read.