We're delighted to welcome Sarah Morgan to the Pink Heart Society today, as she talks us through her exciting new workspace...
I’ve always been able to write anywhere. Even before I was published I realised that conditions for writing are never perfect, and that if I was going to be able to meet the deadlines I set for myself, I was going to have to be flexible. I had young children, so writing in an office with a closed door wasn’t an option (and not just because we didn’t have a spare room in the house for such a luxury!). I carried a notebook and I scribbled notes all the time. I wrote in the car park waiting to pick the kids up from school, on the rugby field while it was pouring with rain and blowing a gale, and even wrote a few lines of dialogue in the dark in the movies on the back of the ticket.
Being a writer was the perfect job for me. I was a stay at home mum, which I really wanted, but at the same time I had a busy and stimulating career, which I also wanted! I learned to time shift, and my family learned not to throw out paper covered in lines of scribble. Sometimes I write dialogue on post it notes and stick them to the wall, but than can be awkward when you have guests. I remember my husband calmly suggesting I removed the sticky note that said ‘this marriage is over!!’ from the wall before his parents arrived for dinner.
Being able to write anywhere undoubtedly helped my productivity. But there were drawbacks. I don’t throw anything away until a book is finished and accepted by my editor. If it’s 100,000 words, then I end up with plenty of scraps of paper and post it notes. Inevitably some of them were moved and sometimes lost. Now I have teenagers, the house is busier. It was my husband who suggested a garden office and, fortunately, we had the perfect spot for it.
The office we eventually chose arrived in pieces and was assembled in a day by the company we’d chosen. Watching it go up was fascinating, and if you follow me on Facebook you will already have seen the photos because I posted an account as it was happening.
Before the office was built, I’d had plans for how I’d fill the space, but once I saw it I realised I didn’t want to fill it with anything. I didn’t want it to use it as a store for paperwork, stacks of books ready for mailing, and all other items necessary for the business side of writing. I wanted it solely to be a place of creativity. Because I love to write with books around me, I allowed myself one discreet bookcase, which blended perfectly and took up very little space. I also added a plant, a well stuffed bean bag for occasional reading breaks and a glass desk which took very little space and added to the open feel of the place.
Now, although I still have the ability to work anywhere, my office is the place I would choose to work. During the summer while the weather was warm I worked with the doors open, listening to the birds and watching butterflies dance in the lavender outside the window. Now that winter has arrived I’m snuggled in the warm watching the garden glisten in the rain.
It’s more than an office, it’s a haven. And here’s a secret. The office came with two keys, but no one knows that except me (and you – and I know you won’t tell). I’ve hidden one. The other lives in my pocket.
Do you have a secret writing haven that you retreat to? Tell us all about your favourite writing spots in the comments!
Sarah's latest book, Maybe This Christmas is available now:
This winter, ex-skiing champion, reformed heartbreaker and single dad Tyler O’Neil has only one mission—making sure his daughter, Jess, has the best Christmas ever. The fact that his best friend, Brenna, is also temporarily moving into his chalet at the overbooked Snow Crystal resort is a delicious distraction he’s simply going to have to ignore. Theirs is the one relationship he’s never ruined, and he’s not about to start now.
Ski pro Brenna Daniels knows all about the perils of unrequited love—she’s been in love with Tyler for years. But living with him is absolute torture…how can she concentrate on being his friend when he’s sleeping in the room next door? Then when Tyler kisses Brenna, suddenly the relationship she’s always dreamed of feels so close she could almost touch it. Could this be the Christmas her dreams of a happy-ever-after finally come true?