Does anyone harbor the romantic idea about where our fellow authors write their masterpieces?
For me personally, the image is one of serenity and peace where the muse sits on my shoulders and waxes lyrical into my ears. My mind throws up images similar to that of snowy log cabins in the woods, hazy afternoons on decks of canal boats, or even being sprawled on the lawn in the shadows of a ruined castle.
Unfortunately, like many things in life, reality is often a different story (pardon the pun). Ok, so I do live on the coast and by the sea (it’s literally a stones throw away) but I work in room that only has views of my back garden. Furthermore, within the room I sit facing the wall – if I stretch out my arm I can actually touch the wallpaper – that’s how close I am to it. And from that, you can probably understand why I took so long to choose that particular pattern.
As I read more and more about established authors, I’m beginning to realize how few of them actually have such idyllic lifestyles. I’ve read about some of them having young kids that still run around their legs whilst they type, and others that still have other work that often takes priority. One particular author (I’m looking at you Peter V. Brett) wrote much of his first book whilst commuting to work on an HP Ipaq 6515.
So, for those of us that are writing to earn enough money to support such a vision, we probably need to be more realistic and understand that, even if we do make it big and see our names in lights, the imagined life of an author may not be as feasible as it seems.
I’ll leave you with the point that when I did actually make an effort to write in such an environment (I parked my car in the Lake District overlooking a vista of natural beauty), I wrote very little compared to what I normally write and, at one point, fell asleep!