My Writing Day
By Fanny Blake
I read the paper over breakfast and then go into my office at any time between 830 and 930. I treat it just like any working day except I just don’t have to dress up (or even change out of my pyjamas) or commute.
I’d like to tell you that my room is a sanctuary: a peaceful space carefully lit, with minimal furniture and scented with candles – everything conducive to a calm working environment. In fact it’s a very small room, just off the kitchen, that’s crammed with books and book proofs that I receive in my role as books editor of Woman & Home. The shelves are ordered into publication months, but piled on the floor are the books waiting to be collected for charity. There’s not a candle to be seen.
I take a cup of peppermint tea to my desk that overlooks our rather wild garden and begin. I start every day full of good intentions. I try to clear any admin first so that I can then write my novel with a clear head. I aim to work on a novel until early afternoon either researching or writing. On a good day, I write about 1,000 words. On a bad day, much less. I often use the Freedom app to limit distractions. Opening the app shuts off access to email and the Internet for however long I want. The Internet is a wonderful research tool but it’s also the devil – a source of endless fun and procrastination that I find almost impossible to resist.
I often don’t have lunch as such but snack through the day. Not impressive. My afternoon’s given to my other work of reviewing, interviewing and editing. If I’m not doing anything in the evening, I’ll carry on till about 730. Otherwise I’ll knock off at about 6.
That’s my ideal working day. In fact, it often doesn’t quite work out like that. I so envy people who can stick to self-imposed routines, getting up at 5am, unplugging the phone, not moving until they’ve written a certain amount. In my room, the phone will ring or I’ll have forgotten to put on Freedom so emails will start coming through. That means I’ll find something that I feel I need to do immediately. Sometimes the fear of a deadline whizzing past will make me write a review in the morning. Sometimes, I don’t start writing the novel until much later than I mean to, and sometimes I barely manage to get to it at all. But … I do write something every day, even if it’s only a few words. That way the story stays in my head, ready for the following day when my resolutions are renewed all over again.
House of Dreams (Orion) by Fanny Blake is out now.
A huge thank you to Fanny Blake & Zabiba at Orion.
At their family hilltop villa, Lucy awaits the arrival of her brother and sister for their mother’s annual birthday party. Although this time, their mother won’t be there.
Struggling at Malaga airport with her fractious four year old, Jo has already lost her case and is dreading arriving without its precious contents.
For Tom, returning to Casa de Sueños stirs up all sorts of memories – then a beautiful face from his past appears . . .
Over one long, hot weekend, past secrets will spill out as three siblings discover more about their family and each other in this gorgeous, warm and witty new novel from Fanny Blake.