My writing day: Authors and writers describe their typical writing day…/Writer’s Rooms.


180113 Siddhartha Mukherjee: Two hours writing, then a researcher knocks…
180106 Jon McGregor: I’ve not been asked how I juggle writing & fatherhood

171230 Julie Myerson: I am a solipsistic maniac… think of nothing but the book
171223 Philip Pullman: I use coloured pencils to show which key I’m writing in…
171209 Ayòbámi Adébáyò: Writing a sentence can transport me to another world
171202 David Harsent: After a night’s sleep there are dreams to transcribe…
171125 Judith Kerr: I’m still surprised at the success of The Tiger Who Came to Tea
171118 Nicola Barker: Each novel has its own specially designed notebook…
171111 Antonia Fraser: I was forced to learn typing… for being uppish
171104 David Hare: For every hour writing a screenplay, you spend 10 defending it
171028 Yaa Gyasi: I write a sentence. I delete it. I wonder if it’s too early for lunch
171021 Andrew Michael Hurley: …I don’t look up ’til my wife texts to tell me to eat
171014 Frances Hardinge: I can try axe-throwing or canoeing and it could be….
171007 Shaun Bythell: The bestselling subject in my shop? Railway books
170930 Fiona Mozley: I’m on the Man Booker shortlist and….
170923 Penelope Lively: A… pleasures of old age is…I’ll never see Heathrow again
170916 Kamila Shamsie: you can’t avoid… your relationship with the internet
170909 Roddy Doyle: my work is fuelled by music, mitching and mugs of green tea
170902 Coralie Bickford-Smith: I’m like a happy four-year-old with a picture
170826 Bernard MacLaverty: Just try to write. You can do it better tomorrow
170819 Odafe Atogun: I write at night when the world is asleep
170812 Michael Holroyd: Escaping from myself has been my aim as a writer
170805 James Kelman: I’ll die at the desk. So what. Where’s the coffee?
170729 Louise Welsh: I work best when I reach a mild degree of boredom
170722 Scott Turow: My characters, like me, find society’s problems in the law
170715 Sarah Hall: Everything is subject to the priorities of single parenting
170708 Eimear McBride: My husband shouts “For God’s sake, come down to dinner”
170627 Nick Laird: My lists say things like 1. buy milk. 2. call Dad. 3. finish novel
170624 Shirley Hughes: Children are… frank in their reactions to seeing me draw
170617 William Dalrymple: The key rule is no drinking at all until the pen is down
170603 Chris Riddell: …James Bond should be a middle-aged cartoonist
170525 Hisham Matar: If I wake up at an early hour and write 500 words each day…
170520 Geoff Dyer: At the first sign of sleepiness I commit absolutely to a nap…
170513 Hari Kunzru: Strong espresso drinks are all that stand between us…
170505 Daljit Nagra: I love playing rock albums to get my heartbeat racing
170429 Raymond Tallis: In my… pub, they turn down the speaker in my… corner
170422 Dava Sobel: If you enjoy… mysteries, you’d love rummaging… archives
170415 Tim Parks: The athlete has a training schedule… the writer has nothing
170408 Nadeem Aslam: …my initials in Urdu look like a pen by an inkwell
170401 John Boyne: I began on Wednesday morning and wrote for 60 hours
170325 Simon Armitage: Language is my enemy—I spend my life battling with it
170318 Caitlin Moran: Were I not a writer, I’d have the peachy, zingy buttocks…
170311 Raymond Briggs: Fungus the Bogeyman took two years. The Snowman…
170304 Elizabeth Strout: I have never written anything from beginning to end
170225 Susan Hill: Can I be a serious writer, keeping such casual hours?
170218 Jake Arnott: I fear the sack every day from the best job I’ve ever had
170211 Bettany Hughes: I cannot write… unless I go where history happened
170204 John Burnside: Writing is what I steal from the usual flow of things
170128 Alain de Botton: Raw experience is overwhelming…I have to write it down
170121 Jacob Polley: …I should be kept busy doing anything other than writing
170114 Tessa Hadley: Some of my best ideas come in the bath
170107 Emma Donoghue: I have only from 8.30am to 3.30pm to work…

161231 Sebastian Barry: …a serviceable first line is rendered from the heavens
161224 Michael Bond: I’m at my desk by 9am. I even write on Christmas Day
161217 Maggie O’Farrell: There is nothing so dangerous to good writing as…
161210 Sarah Perry: One day I found myself reciting… I knew the crisis had come
161203 Petina Gappah: I was a lawyer… I forced myself to write before… work
161126 Matt Haig: At times I am Philip K Dick, minus the amphetamines…
161119 Ruth Padel: Writing needs connection to the outside world…
161112 Jeff Kinney: I bought a typewriter to try to beat back the distractions…
161105 Linda Grant: I can’t write after lunch… or when anyone is in the house
161029 Paul Beatty: I’ve got no idea how winning is going to affect my writing life…
161022 Anthony Horowitz: I don’t have breakfast. If I hold off eating, I work better
161015 Xiaolu Guo: One language is not enough—I write in both Chinese and English
161008 Douglas Coupland: I’m actually at my happiest when I’m writing on a plane
161001 Deborah Levy: I have grown to love my writing shed in every season
160924 Charlotte Mendelson: I live for… when something comes into verbal focus
160917 Tracy Chevalier: Writing is a magic trick that… surprises me…
160910 Lemn Sissay: I begin work trying to describe dawn in 140 characters
160903 Val McDermid: adopt the habits of a hermit crab
160827 Jonathan Safran Foer: I… am a chronic sufferer of Jonathan block.
160820 Helen Dunmore: My moment of inspiration on the operating table
160813 Louis de Bernières: I’ve never written about a place I haven’t been to…
160806 Howard Jacobson: …adding a dab of colour before popping out for absinthe.
160730 AL Kennedy: As payments plummet, I’m back on the road…
160723 Mark Haddon: I’m not a terribly good writer, but I’m a persistent editor.
160716 Sebastian Faulks: I used to pull the curtains and put in earplugs…
160422 Anne Enright: My writing day.
160416 Hilary Mantel: My writing Day.


170730 zen pencils a
I write my first drafts on my IBM Selectric II. I made the heavy duty typing stand using a iron heating register and black iron pipe. To the left of the typewriter is a a statue of Calliope, my muse and a candle in a brass candlestick. I type my drafts on yellow paper, a habit acquired from my early days in a class with Daniel Keyes. When I’m not working, I cover the typewriter with a Welsh flag (I still have the heavy vinyl cover intended for that purpose, but I dislike the smell) in a similar way that my printer (to the right) is covered by a Dickens’ themed dish towel. My laptop is to my left, as is a window looking out on the wee meadow behind our house. On the walls above the typewriter are (clockwise from the lower left): a photo of my father as a young man at his drafting board, a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s self portrait, a print of Gavin Aung Than’s In The Mood For Work (panels two and seven are my favorites), three photographs of my lost loyal canine companion Buster, a copy of Walter Mosley’s For Authors, Fragile Ideas Need Loving Every Day which I read every morning before I begin work, and finally, the memorial cover of Rolling Stone for Hunter S. Thompson’s whose Hell’s Angels convinced me, more than any other work, that I wanted to be a writer.

080523 Writers’ rooms: Roald Dahl
080516 Writers’ rooms: Anne Enright
080502 Writers’ rooms: Simon Gray
080418 Writer’s rooms: Margaret Forster
080411 Writers’ rooms: Michael Rosen
080328 Writers’ rooms: David Harsent
080321 Writer’s rooms: Adam Phillips
080314 Writers’ rooms: Charlotte Mendelson
080307 Writers’ rooms: Simon Armitage
080229 Writers’ rooms: Jung Chang
080215 Writers’ rooms: Craig Raine
080208 Writers’ rooms: Adam Thirlwell
080125 Writers’ rooms: Ronan Bennett
080111 Writers’ rooms: Eric Hobsbawm
080104 Writers’ rooms: Judith Kerr

071228 Writers’ rooms: Barbara Trapido
071221 Writers’ rooms: Posy Simmonds
071214 Writers’ rooms: Raymond Briggs
071207 Writers’ rooms: Kate Mosse
071130 Writers’ rooms: Julie Myerson
071123 Writers’ rooms: Martin Amis
072216 Writers’ rooms: Helen Simpson
071109 Writers’ rooms: Russell Hoban
071102 Writers’ rooms: Caryl Phillips
071026 Writers’ rooms: Siri Hustvedt
071019 Writers’ rooms: Penelope Lively
071012 Writers’ rooms: Nicola Barker
071005 Writers’ rooms: Andrew Motion
070928 Writers’ rooms: Alan Sillitoe
070921 Writers’ rooms: Joshua Ferris
070914 Writers’ rooms: Michael Longley
070907 Writers’ rooms: Sue Townsend
070831 Writers’ rooms: Seamus Heaney
070824 Writers’ Rooms: Alain de Botton
070817 Writers’ rooms: Jonathan Safran Foer
070810 Writers’ rooms: John Richardson
070803 Writers’ rooms: Carmen Callil
070727 Writers’ rooms: Graham Swift
070720 Writers’ rooms: Jacqueline Wilson
070713 Writers’ rooms: Colm Tóibín
070706 Writers’ rooms: Margaret Drabble
070629 Writers’ rooms: Mark Haddon
070622 Writers’ rooms: John Mortimer
070615 Writers’ rooms: John Banville
070608 Writers’ rooms: AL Kennedy
070601 Writers’ rooms: Rose Tremain
070525 Writers’ rooms: Edna O’Brien
070518 Writers’ rooms: Ian Rankin
070511 Writers’ rooms: Esther Freud
070504 Writers’ rooms: Geoff Dyer
070427 Writers’ rooms: Michael Holroyd
070420 Writers’ rooms: Hanif Kureishi
070413 Writers’ rooms: Claire Tomalin
070406 Writers’ rooms: Will Self
070330 Writers’ rooms: Andrew O’Hagan
070323 Writers’ rooms: Diana Athill
070316 Writers’ rooms: Antonia Fraser
070302 Writers’ rooms: David Lodge
070223 Writers’ rooms: Ahdaf Soueif
070216 Writers’ rooms: William Boyd
070202 Writer’s rooms: Hilary Mantel
070126 Writers’ rooms: Sarah Waters
070119 Writers’ rooms: David Hare
070112 Writers’ rooms: Beryl Bainbridge
070105 Writers’ rooms: Michael Frayn

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