Have you ever written a book? A novel, I mean. I used to write loads of technical stuff, but that isn’t the same as writing fiction. I found I could easily pick up the techie writing from where I left off, and because I was in an office I was disturbed constantly. It didn’t bother me, I had facts at my fingertips and imagination didn’t come into it. Well, not much. Writing novels isn’t the same. Think what it’s like when you get into a good book, how you soon feel part of the story. Now magnify those feelings several times and you get an idea how writers feel. Not only are they absorbed by the book, they have to live the lives of the characters and at the same time plan the characters’ every move. Weird, when you think about it seriously.
I have nothing but admiration for those writers that do it whilst surrounded by kids and small babies, and I can see why some end up in sheds at the bottoms of gardens, rather like hermits or Cornish saints. I can usually write well in coffee shops, even when there is noise, so why is that? Perhaps it’s not just the interruption, it is the fear of it, which is worse than interruption itself. A few years ago, for a period of about two years, I worked from home for my employer. It wasn’t easy. It started in summer, and I sat at my desk staring out at grass that needed to be cut. No danger of that today because I can’t see any grass. Excuse me while I go outside and exhume a small car from beneath twenty inches of snow….