In the second of a series of guest blogs, Stroud-based author Nimue Brown writes about daydreaming, small space living, and sharing a table with an artist.
Do you have a special / particular place where you write? If so, did you set it up, or did it sort of evolve? Tell us about it.
I have the left hand side of the table for all computer related work. On the right side of the dining table is Tom Brown’s art studio. We don’t take up a lot of space between us. However, for first drafts I tend to work on paper, so that means being curled up in one corner of the sofa with a book on my lap.
I don’t think as well with screens, and if I’m not using any electric I don’t feel as guilty about time spent staring into the middle distance!
Do you usually write at certain times of day, or particular days of the week? To a self-set word count?
Usually I blog first thing in the morning (sometimes as early as 7) and aim to write less than a thousand words for that. Otherwise, I find structure is the kiss of death. I write better and more reliably if I’m not aiming to, if it’s slotted in around other stuff, so I’ll devote whole afternoons to craft projects and bits of book will sneak out of that.
Some writers listen to music whilst they write. Do you? If so, any particular type? Do you change the music according to what you’re writing?
At the moment, I’m favouring anything that doesn’t have words in English. I tend to listen to words and this tends to distract me. I’m very eclectic in my music tastes.
Do you have a statue and / or pet which you treat as a muse, or at least, a sounding board?
I have a Tom. He hears things as I’m working on them, and I test ideas on him. I also have a little band of people who read things for me to check they make sense, or to help me figure out what needs developing.
If you don’t have a writer’s shed, do you fancy one? If so, what would it be like? Also, do you have a favourite writing “shrine” – eg, have you, or do you wish to, make a trip to a particular house or place associated with a writer you admire?
I think if I had a shed, I would be living in it, not just writing there! I’m set on small space living, which means there are no dedicated spaces for anything, with the exception of the loo! So I could only have a shed if it was also an art studio, and a recording studio and five other people were mostly in it, at which point it just seems like less hassle to go and sit in a cafe – which is something I’m not averse to anyway.
I don’t crave solitude to write, just people with the wit and survival instincts to know when to leave me in peace. And when to bring me coffee.
Longhand, typewriter, dictation machine, computer, and/or…? Are you a fan of a particular type of pen, pencil, notebook, etc? Share your stationery addiction(s), please!
Every book begins with the quest for the right notebook. The paper has to be thick enough to take writing on both sides, the lines have to be close, but not too close, the cover must, at the very least, not annoy me. Then I stock up on cheap black biros, because I can’t hold a pen properly and I kill anything with a nib.
The typing stage needs some work because the action on my keyboard is awful, the shift key mostly doesn’t, and I’ve worn away 11 letters entirely, with another four in dubious condition. Apparently I can touch type, but I’d rather not.
The hand written draft is typed up, revisions happen on the computer, for sanity. I miss my laptop, but I killed so much technology last year that my computer guru told me to get a desktop so that the bits I kill can be replaced in stages.
See all comments about the keyboard.
What are you currently working on?
I’ve got a new novel in the ‘being read by the team’ stage, an audio novel coming out week by week at nerdbong.com, a book on Pagan Dreaming out this summer, I’m supposed to be firming up the script for volume four of Hopeless Maine and I’m starting to think about the next Pagan title.
The next writer showing us round their shed will be RI Royle.
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