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Comment from the book world in February 2019

February 2019

"Why am I writing this?"

11 February 2019

‘I never planned to be a writer. It is a very odd way to make a living. Just telling lies...

I do have a visceral sense of breaking through the shell of something when I walk into my study in the morning. Now I just go and do it. Sometimes it doesn't go well, but most often, I'll look up and it's time for lunch and I don't know what happened...

All books have moments when I say. "Why am I writing this?" But now I have written so many I just sort of trust and let it happen. The other nice thing to getting to this age is that I think, well, what if I never finish it? The world will go on without another of my books.'

Anne Tyler, author of 22 novels, including Clock Dance, The Accidental Tourist, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and Back When We Were Grownups in The Times.

 

My Writing Space

4 February 2019

'I've wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember, and along with that came a very clear vision of where I'd write. Though I read many books in which people wrote in secret, magical places -nooks in elderly oak trees, in wardrobes, while stowed away at sea - my own vision was rather more grand.

As a child, I would write in exercise books, at the kitchen table, and sometimes I'd dream of being a proper writer, and how, when I was, I would write where a proper writer would. I would write in a big house, set high over parkland (I was reading a lot of Jane Austen), and would pick out my words on a kick-ass, hefty typewriter (they hadn't invented computers yet, of course) which would sit in the centre of an enormous mahogany desk.

This, in turn, would be situated on a suitably thick carpet, in the centre of an elegant high-ceilinged room, which looked out - via French doors, where gauzy floor-length panels billowed, obviously - onto a wide expanse of perfect emerald lawn. Beyond the lawn would stand conifers, pointing skywards, like pencils, and the only sounds, bar my tapping, would be birdsong and bees.

And in my imaginings, I would be quite, quite alone. Bar an elderly gardener who‘d rumble past on a ride-on lawnmower from time to time, it would simply be me; me and my imagination, the contents of it constantly bubbling over...'

Lynne Barrrett-Lee, author of 8 novels, including Julia Gets a Life and Barefoot in the Dark
http://www.andrewlownie.co.uk/2016/11/09/my-writing-space-by-lynne-barrett-lee