The thing is, life has got in the way quite a lot lately. I won't go into details, but there it is. I'm behind where I should be, running to keep up and not miss deadlines and not disappoint people (including myself). I knew it was going to happen, and that's why, for Christmas (and birthday and probably next Christmas as well), I asked, for once, for something I really really wanted.
Time to write with no distractions.
It's a precious thing, is time, especially writing time. I can't actually remember when I had a stretch of it unbroken by that life-getting-in-the-way thing I mentioned earlier. But now I do, and I'm appreciating every moment of its extreme preciousness. So here I am, in the tiny village of Sheepwash in Devon, at the amazing Retreats for You, being cossetted (including nightly hot water bottles and glasses of wine brought to my room), cared for, fed delicious meals (which I'm not allowed to clear up after), and above all LEFT ALONE to do what I really want to. Write.
Yesterday I wrote over 3000 words. I haven't done that in a long time. Today I'm already up to 1500 (and that's not including this post). I'll be at 3000 again by the end of the day or bust, and I'm here for nine more whole days, leaving the family and dogs behind to take care of themselves.
I can't even begin to tell you how marvellous it is to say that. Sometimes, as writers, we just crave quiet and time and space to think, and it's not always easy to come by. As a mother and a carer and a person who wears far too many hats, I'm pretty hard on myself. Writing is supposed to be my full-time job - and yet, far too often, I find myself squeezing it in around everything else. The gift of what I really need - time to do the work I love - may not be everyone's idea of the perfect present, but it is mine, and I am grateful to my family for understanding that and for making it possible.
Long live Retreats for You (trust me, if you're a writer you NEED to come here!), and I know you'll forgive me if I get back to my novel now. I'll see you all again on the other side!
Out now from Piccadilly Press UK & Grosset and Dunlap USA: Beast Keeper and Hound of Hades (Beasts of Olympus)
"rippingly funny…offers food for thought on everything from absentee parenting to the mistreatment of animals (even immortal ones)."
Publishers Weekly US starred review
Coming in May 2015 from Orchard, Cleo (UKYA historical fantasy about the teenage Cleopatra VII)
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Lucy teaches a regular Guardian Masterclass on 'How to Write for Children'
Lucy is represented by Sophie Hicks at The Sophie Hicks Agency