Ideal Writing Conditions

A secluded cottage by a lake would be nice – one with maid and butler service.  I’m sure something like that exists, but a first-time novelist writing on spec can’t afford such luxuries.  Instead, I’m the only adult in a house with four kids (ages 7-12) … so if I’m lucky, I’ll get a three-minute stretch of peace and quiet.

I get a kick out of people who demand strict conditions for writing – hours of complete, uninterrupted silence during which they attempt to connect with their muse and “create.”  How do they survive in the world?  Isn’t there always a distraction – as innocuous as a car horn or as tantalizing as an invitation to a dinner party?  Sounds a bit like the “writer’s block” excuse, doesn’t it?

Oh, I agree that a couple of quiet hours are essential for refining a piece of writing.  Now that school is out for the summer, I have to content myself with bits of time at either end of the day – before the kids get up and after they go to bed.  Mostly though I’m writing during those little pockets of peace that occur throughout the day – when no one is hungry, refusing to share a toy, has a scrape on their knee or is arguing over which board game to play.

They may not be ideal, but those are the conditions under which a huge portion of my book is being written.  Hey, if Jodi Picoult can do it, so can I.

On that note, I must run.  It’s five minutes past noon and the littlest kid just asked when lunch will be ready.

About the author 

Valerie Francis

Valerie Francis is a bestselling author, literary editor, and podcaster with a passion for stories by, for and about women.

Each month, Valerie recommends books from literature’s best female authors. Selections come from every genre because women write, and read, in every genre. The Women’s Fiction category offers up some terrific novels, but these days there’s a strong female presence in thriller, horror, crime, and other genres traditionally dominated by male writers. No matter what the publishing companies may think, in the 21st Century, Women’s Fiction is whatever we want it to be.

stories for women, by women, and about women