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This Writer’s Life


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Last week I took part in a speed dating careers day at my daughter’s school. As well as talking about audiology, I also answered questions about being a writer. I think many of the pupils thought I sat at home and wrote stuff all day accompanied only by a cup of tea and a pile of chocolate biscuits. Although sometimes tea and biscuits are involved and obviously some writing does go on, it made me think about what I actually do on a daily basis that is linked with this writing malarkey.

So I thought I’d share what I’ve been doing so far today. I hope this will give my friends who aren’t writers a bit of a window on the other book-related stuff I do.

After breakfast and the usual chaos of normal family life, headed for Windsor Waterstones to buy a copy of The Lost Words (my top pick of 2017 books) ready for Book Giving Day next week. Secret plans are afoot! While in store, was able to update the lovely manager on what I’m planning for an in-store event on World Book Day and give her information about John Condon‘s debut book for the forthcoming Picture Book Club meeting in April. Popped into library on the way back to the car to spread the word about Book Giving Day.

Then, off to circuits for a bit of outdoor exercise before dropping in on a secret location to set something up for Book Giving Day (shhhh…. secret squirrel!) Really inspiring chat with secret person in secret location about the power of picture books to strike a chord whatever your age. Then home to pick up a copy of Amelie and the Great Outdoors for a friend who is sending it to Cambodia for Book Giving Day. Met friend for coffee and signed book. While waiting, wrote down idea for new story. Inhaled lemon muffin (because I earned it – see ‘circuits’ earlier). Arranged further fun for Book Giving Day with manager of coffee shop.

Back home and managed to get a donation in to help crowd-fund The Lost Words for every school in Scotland (land of my fathers). Joined in general twitter excitement and celebration about hitting the target! Now blogging before school pick up. Need to go early to visit uniform shop to get new science overall for daughter as current one is many sizes too small. With all this book-related activity, something has to give and sometimes it’s the parenting (sorry daughter!)

So, that’s been my day so far. A teeny bit of writing has gone on (just in case my lovely agent, Alice Williams, thinks I’m slacking) but mostly it has been meeting up with fantastic enthusiastic book people or being the enthusiastic book person that other people meet up with. I don’t know if that’s part of being a writer in the rule books but I’m loving it! I did warn the pupils on the careers day last week that they’ll never get rich in the writing game but I hope I also managed to convey some of the excitement and variety that makes it such a brilliant thing to do.