When I was fairly new to writing, I thought most writers sat in front of their desks, pen in hand, their notebook open in front of them, fire burning in the hearth, a cup of tea right by their side, and words just started flowing. My ideal workplace had to be like Bilbo Baggins’s hobbit hole: warm, cosy, comfortable. I was in London at the time and the cold weather helped fuel my fantasies. I had recently bought a laptop and though not the type to write longhand, I invested money in buying new stationary before I sat down to write my first novel, The Recession Groom.
I’d done everything to create a perfect environment, but the words just wouldn’t flow. And I needed only to look at my life to understand why. I was working as a management lecturer and my work entailed long hours of standing and lecturing in front of the students. I’d then come home and spend hours working on power-point presentations and case studies. Add to that groceries, cleaning and cooking and one compact bedsit (which looked nothing like a hobbit hole!) By the time I sat down to write, I felt so wrung out and exhausted, nothing came to my mind. Clearly, this wasn’t anything close to my dream. And yet, there were many like me who had managed to write novels whilst working full-time jobs.