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Tansy Rayner Roberts

How I Write (Right Now)

April 25th, 2012 at 11:37

Nicole Murphy has a regular series up on her blog, interviewing writers about their habits and their processes. I am her star of the week, talking about my habits here, and my processes here.

It’s a while since I have checked in with myself about what I’m doing and how I do it, so it was kind of fascinating to me to roll out these answers.

“I usually have one primary and a couple of secondary projects. This is the first year in a very long time I have allowed myself to have multiple projects, none of which are headline acts. I can write half a chapter of a novel, or 200 words each across 5 short stories if I want. Later in the year, as my projects consolidate, I intend to be a bit firmer about prioritising certain novels, but right now I’m letting myself write quite freely which is – terrifying and enchanting at the same time.”

I knew I was doing something completely different this year, but it hadn’t sunk in quite how much I have changed the way I work for 2012. It could be scary, except that I’ve been doing this long enough to know that my methods are always fluid, always changing. What works for me now is not necessarily what will work even one book from now, let alone three.

The big thing looming in my life is that I have less than two years now before Jemima starts school, though her first year is likely to be more disruptive than constructive to my writing, as I’d be exchanging 2 daycare days of 8:30 am to 5:00 pm for 2 school days of 8:30 pm to 2:30 pm (the actual time available to me, not necessarily school hours) plus one extra of I think 8:30am to about 12-1pm, so I won’t be gaining net hours as such.

But the year after that… day after day of glorious empty house!

Not that I want to wish away her early childhood or anything, but it will definitely be the end of one era and the dawn of a greater productivity for me. That’s the point at which I will have to address things like ergonomics which I hand-wavy about now because I never get to spend more than an hour working on anything.

Yes, I should be writing. Instead, I am blogging. This is how I write.

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One Response to “How I Write (Right Now)”

  1. Kirstie Says:

    I know what you mean about how you look forward to your child going to school, it’s not a ‘get that thing out of my sight’ sort of feeling but more of a ‘I might actually have some free time’ kind of a feeling. My son is a bit further off from going to school than your daughter though.

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