Many years ago I had my office in the attic, far away from the rest of the house. In many ways it was perfect, except no-one who rang the door bell ever stayed there long enough for me to reach them. (Mind you, that happens nowadays, although I’m on the first floor. I go down the stairs a lot more slowly.)
Once, when I was in the attic, we had work on the house going on that involved jackhammers boring into an outside wall. (It’s an old house, the walls are very thick.). Somehow I managed to put this noise aside and write my love scene. Today, I don’t find it quite so easy.
I had arranged to have my bathroom ‘refreshed’ (imagine patches of damp, dodgy shower, drips down the wall from the flat room above) while we were on holiday. I’m not an idiot (well, not always) I knew I wouldn’t go away with one bathroom and come back to a brand new one, but I hadn’t realised quite how little would have happened. (Not anyone’s fault – it’s all down to a shower tray.). I also hadn’t been warned that all my clothes would have been taken out of the cupboards (my bathroom is also a dressing room, sort of).
However, being a grown-up about it, I tried to take it in my stride. I know that builders start work early. I would start work earlier, I decided and got myself to my desk by six am. I have been editing, and in this case it was fairly straightforward. But the end of the book involved a bit of rewriting, and being the end of one of my books, this involved a bit of a love scene.
I think in the early days of my writing career I had more energy, I was better at shutting out the world and the jack hammers. This time I found the prospect of builders in my en suite at 8.30 quite inhibiting. Even if sometimes they don’t come, I don’t know that they won’t and my creativity just dries up.
I had to do what no writer likes doing. I had to email my editor and ask for an extension. Luckily she was delighted to let me have another couple of days. She was snowed under herself.
So at the weekend I can relax, knowing no one is going to come up the stairs making jokes and being cheery when I’m trying to be romantic.
I’d better do it!
Deborah Blake says...
I can’t write well with distractions either. Glad the extension wasn’t a problem.
November 07, 2021
Helen Bland says...
Ooooo but imagine the romance you could write involving a builder…???? Xxx
But imagine how authentic a few jokes and a bit of cheeriness would make a romantic scene!
November 02, 2021
Christine Knowler says...
I know how you feel. We went away for a week expecting our bathroom to be much further forward than it was. But we had a working toilet at least. Trouble was I was going away again 5 days later. Luckily we had a working shower for the morning I went away or it could have been a bit embarrassing!