Friday, February 10, 2017

Writing on the sofa

Gloria and Lady Godiva, to give her her full name, no longer cuddle up on the sofa, perhaps because it now has a new overcoat. They still sit here, but not together. In the mornings, Godiva sits beside me and drapes herself over my left wrist, despite the fact that she gets jiggled up and down while I'm writing. Gloria sits on the cushion behind my back, gradually wearing a groove in it and occasionally eating my hair.

This is my new regime. I tried working at the kitchen table, but it was hopeless, so I went back to the office and my back suffered. So here I am in the sitting room, working on the sofa with the cats. It's slightly tidier in here, there are grapes and chocolates to hand and a vase of daffodils on the table. And I've actually got more done over the last few days than I have in the last month. I may well abandon the office for ever.

It reminds me of two things. One - the summer I spent with a cracked foot up on the sofa finishing a writing project and two - finishing the first Libby Sarjeant after Hazel Cushion had asked for it. I've always maintained that I needed a dedicated office space to work, and of course, in the past, I have. In our last house, my late husband and I actually had an office each once we'd chucked the two elder children out. Even before that, he had one and I worked in our large utility room. This was essential with four children with ages ranging over ten years, and my liking for working to music probably dates from that time - in order to block out extraneous noises.

But now I've realised I don't need it. I do have one returning child - the current slave - living with me, but he spends most of his time in his room composing music and poetry, only coming out to eat, take the bins out and get the coal in. And it's much more comfortable here, and surprisingly, less distracting. So - advice for writers. As if I'm qualified to give advice... Write where you're comfortable and not where you think you should. No, I'm not going to remind you of Jane Austin, but I might remind you of the opening line of my all-time favourite novel: "I write this sitting in the kitchen sink..."


April Taylor said...

I still insist on my office, mainly because I spread myself out a lot when I am working. My desk is huge. I also have music on and a nice view from the window over the field opposite. Paul always laughs at the morning routine. Up, dress, walk dog. Breakfast. Second coffee to take upstairs. Walk upstairs followed by aforementioned dog with his favourite toy in his mouth. Talk about me and my shadow! Even on those mornings when working is the last thing I want to do, my feet still go up the stairs. I don't think I will ever reach the number of books you've written, though, Lesley.

April Hardy said...

An interesting and very timely post for me, Lesley, as we are soon moving to a smaller apartment and I'll no longer have a study to work in.
I just wish my furry companion was as well behaved at Gloria and Lady G!

Lesley Cookman said...

Funny how we all have furry companions, isn't it? My morning routine used to be stagger downstairs, put kettle on, feed cats, and sit with the laptop in the kitchen to do emails, social media anything else that put off starting to work. Chores then, as few as I could get away with, upstairs to wash and dress, back down and into the office. Now, I just plonk myself on the sofa instead...