I start my writing day early. Sometimes as early as 5.30 in the summer or 6’oclock and I stagger to my desk in my dressing gown and woolly slippers and I turn on my computer and Radio 4. In the good old days I was very conscientious and writing was like my secret lover, now it’s like my husband. I love it just as much but in a slightly different way.
My eyes don’t focus well in the morning, so I have to play a lot of spider patience and then I check into Twitter to make sure nothing’s happening without me. I also want to boast that I got up really early. After checking my emails, I’ll turn everything off and start writing. On a good day, I’ll get 1000 words done before the phone is likely to ring at 9.30. Sometimes it takes longer. It all depends on if my previous day writing was any good or not. I usually start by editing what I did the day before, to get me into the mood. If it was rubbish and I have to rewrite it all, it takes me longer to get my 1000 words done.
After writing I like to do what I call “research” which is quite often watching television, but it can be going for a walk. Quite often I get my best ideas when I’m on the move. I set out, either with my dogs or without them with my problem in my head, I march about and eventually I find the problem will sort itself out. It’s good if I’m not a mile away from home when I get the answer to my plot because otherwise I’m bound to meet someone as I run across the common and I’m frightened if I meet anyone I’ll forget what it was I wanted to say. Nowadays I keep my walks close to home so that I can get back and start writing again.