Wednesday, 5 June 2013

When I'm Not Writing... Savita Kalhan

When I’m not writing – I always feel I should be! For a long time, I devoted hours and hours to writing – every spare moment. Occasionally I still do, but I’m always trying to find a balance.
One of the main problems in finding spare time is that the job of being a writer in today’s world doesn’t just involve sitting at a desk all day writing a story (would that it did...). Writers have had to learn to wear several different hats and learn it very quickly. They need to promote and publicise their work, organise events such as book-signings and school visits, attending conferences, book fairs and festivals. Publishers usually require them to maintain a public presence on social media.
But I do try and squeeze a life in too! I have a son who is tennis mad and it’s my job to chauffeur him around to matches and lessons and other after-school activities. I play tennis for a team and make time for my own matches too. We’re lucky in that where we live we have woods with a brook backing onto us, and right next to the woods there is a great little tennis club. It’s less than a minute away, so right there is the temptation to go down on a sunny afternoon for a hit.
I enjoy gardening and a couple of years ago I took on an allotment. It’s right next to the tennis courts, so less than a minute away. It doesn’t take up too much time during the winter months, apart from a big dig and laying down manure, but come March through to late September, its pull is great!
I try to get to the gym most days – it’s on my way home from the school run, so I fit it in then – if I leave it until later in the day writing takes over and the gym never happens. It sets me up for a day spent sitting in front of a screen.
I love reading and watching films, and need a daily dose of either one, which does make me stay up later at night than I should.
But somehow, apart from the last few months, when my house has been overrun by builders, the writing does get done. The other hats I should also be wearing have got a little crumpled and forgotten, although I do vaguely remember how Twitter works! The build is in its last week, and after eight long months, my builders will be moving on to another project. Time I moved into my new garden room and did the same. So less of the ‘when I’m not writing...’ and more of the ‘when I’m writing I’ve got no time for anything else’. Well, at least for a while...





By the way, I’m overjoyed that Malorie Blackman is the next Children’s Laureate! Congratulations Malorie!

8 comments:

Joan Lennon said...

I'm impressed by your activities, and energy, and will-power ... and your garden room!

(And we all know when I say impressed by I mean jealous of!)

Penny Dolan said...

The garden room looks wonderful, Savita. Wishing you happy writing there - though beware your son doesn't move in there first/too!

And what Joan says. All of it.

Lynda Waterhouse said...

love your garden room and your list of healthy pursuits. I always feel gulity when i'm not writing too. At the moment I'm in Devon on trip with my buzzabout books writing group sitting in an attic room listening to the sea and gearing myself up for a stint!

Savita Kalhan said...

Thank you Joan, Penny and Lynda. have to admit that I do lose my way sometimes, with writing and with healthy pursuits - particularly over the exhausting 8 month build! But the desk is now in the garden room so I'm moving in before anyone else lays claim to it, son included!
Good luck with your buzz about books trip, Lynda. One thing I don't have is the sound of the sea...

Savita Kalhan said...

By the way, the photo seems to have made the garden room look a lot wider than it is!

David Thorpe said...

Your garden room looks brilliant, and quite a lot like mine! It also has a green roof and several windows on the side facing south. When ever I have a moment, I go outside and potter around in the garden. Isn't it great?

Savita Kalhan said...

David, it's absolutely wonderful! I waited a long time for it and intend to enjoy it now!

Lari Don said...

I can relate to so much of this post - the losing writing time to domestic projects (we're in the middle of complex house-moving arrangements) and losing writing time to parental commitments too. But the line which hit me in the heart hardest was your first one, that when you're not writing, you feel you should be. Me too! I feel so guilty whenever I'm not squeezing writing into every spare non-sleeping moment, and I suspect that's not healthy! I would love to find a better creative balance, and I must remember to reread your post (and look at your lovely garden room) next time I feel completely out of balance. Thanks!