A RUTH DOWNIE POST
This weekend I’ve been chatting with the lovely Rob Cain from “Ancient Rome Refocused” via the miracle of Skype. Rob will be podcasting my ramblings at some point – if he can edit them into something sensible – but in the meantime something he said set me thinking. It was the very simple question:
Where do you write?
The answer to that was once, “The bedroom. When the children have gone to bed and Husband is downstairs watching TV, I turn on the computer, get the corkboard of out from under the bed so I’m sitting beside pictures of Roman sites, and get on with it.”
These days the ‘hobby’ has been promoted to ‘work’ and it gets a whole spare bedroom to itself. For some reason I assumed that as well as providing space for more bookshelves, this would also make me a more productive writer.
We’ve moved house a couple of times recently, and in the previous (temporary) house I wrote in a little room with a big view. A glance out of the window would allow me to keep an eye on the traffic and the occasional horse on the main road, and beyond that I could have written daily reports on the roaming of the local cattle, the extensive prowlings of a black cat, and the odd bit of excitement – a fox, deer, a runaway ball pursued down the hill by the clattering steps of a lad in football studs, or the arrival of another huge caravan to be eased round the tight corner down in the village. People used to ask, “How do you ever get anything written?” and I began to wonder myself. Were these happy distractions holding me back? Was my subconscious pining to offer me 3000 words a day while my outer self gazed out of the window?
Perhaps not. The new study/office/room is much more professional. Admittedly there’s a wardrobe, because it’s also the spare room, but it also has space for far more books. The perfectly pleasant view – a wall, a hedge, a flowerbed, the car – holds few distractions.