In the Swim – Writing in unusual places


Last week, I wrote some of my current novel during my son’s swimming class. I didn’t take a laptop into that steamy, splashy atmosphere; I took my notebook. In between glaring at my son when he was going underwater instead of listening to the swimming teacher, I was scrawling away at an important scene.

I usually write directly onto my computer, but I’ve always enjoyed using my notebook. I love the actual process of writing; the formation of the letters, and the way you can add an extra curl to the tail of a ‘y’ or a ‘g’ when you’re thinking. Often, when I’m really involved in a story, I will start my writing day early, with a giant cup of coffee, sitting up in bed to write in my notebook. In summer, I have the curtains open so I can glance out to see the trees against the lightening sky. As the days begin to draw in, I need the light on. But it’s always cosy, sitting up in bed with the duvet pulled up, just my characters and me. My poor partner, meanwhile, is out with the dog in that darkness, for which I thank him wholeheartedly – my precious morning routine would not be the same otherwise.

After the routine of breakfast, clothes, homework tasks and dropping my son off at school, I usually begin my working day proper by typing up what I’ve written in my notebook that morning, then carry on writing on my computer. But for the past few weeks I’ve been experimenting with leaving my notebook material where it is, in my notebook, and continuing where I left off on my computer. This means, of course, that at some later date I will have lots of tedious typing to do, but I do think I’ve been more productive as a result. The story is flowing more, and I’m not tempting to go back to edit.

It’s swimming class night again tonight. Where will my characters take me this time?

And if you write, where’s the most unusual place you’ve written in? I’d love to know!

Twitter: @margaretkaj

Facebook: Margaret K Johnson Author



One thought on “In the Swim – Writing in unusual places

  1. I really admire this! I long for a routine for my writing, but at the moment it’s simply too hard. When we get unpacked in our new home, it will be the first thing I try to do. So many writers talk about first thing in the morning, and I can see the sense in it, but I’ve never been able to implement it. I think perhaps it’s time I gave it a serious go.

    As for writing on the ‘go’ like you at the swimming lesson, I honestly don’t believe I’m capable of multitasking like that. Well done you. No wonder you’re being so productive.

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