A secluded cottage by a lake would be nice – one with maid and butler service. I’m sure something like that exists, but a first-time novelist writing on spec can’t afford such luxuries. Instead, I’m the only adult in a house with four kids (ages 7-12) … so if I’m lucky, I’ll get a three-minute stretch of peace and quiet.
I get a kick out of people who demand strict conditions for writing – hours of complete, uninterrupted silence during which they attempt to connect with their muse and “create.” How do they survive in the world? Isn’t there always a distraction – as innocuous as a car horn or as tantalizing as an invitation to a dinner party? Sounds a bit like the “writer’s block” excuse, doesn’t it?
Oh, I agree that a couple of quiet hours are essential for refining a piece of writing. Now that school is out for the summer, I have to content myself with bits of time at either end of the day – before the kids get up and after they go to bed. Mostly though I’m writing during those little pockets of peace that occur throughout the day – when no one is hungry, refusing to share a toy, has a scrape on their knee or is arguing over which board game to play.
They may not be ideal, but those are the conditions under which a huge portion of my book is being written. Hey, if Jodi Picoult can do it, so can I.
On that note, I must run. It’s five minutes past noon and the littlest kid just asked when lunch will be ready.