Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Taking a Break by Marie-Louise Jensen

I've just come back from seven weeks abroad. I'm very privilleged to be able to go away like this most summers - my work is flexible and my children (until yesterday) out of school. And I have family to go and stay with in Denmark.
It's always interesting to discover how much a change of scene facilitates my writing. I've been taking a break, not from my work (why would I want to do that?) but from my everyday life. From taxiing my boys to endless things and running the house and trying to tame the jungle that should be a garden. Tax returns and other unappetising paperwork. When the busy routine of all this falls away and I can concentrate, the writing flows.
I'm sure the outdoor workspace helped too. And the peace and quiet of the place. The fact that my sons played golf every day. And the lack of internet too, of course. That's certainly a factor.
I wrote fourteen chapters in six weeks - unthinkable at home. And although I'm sure I'll need to do plenty of rewriting, it's still a great feeling to have made so much progress. Now I just need to find the time to keep the momentum going, even if it's slower.


Sarah said...

I could be wrong, but I don't think I can remember coming across a writer, children's or otherwise, who's managed more than fourteen chapters in six weeks, and that's from someone who edits their books for them. I take my hat off to your achievement!

Miriam Halahmy said...

Like, wow! Denmark, here I come! Well done Marie and don't worry if the momentum slows, there's always next summer.

Anonymous said...

I'm relieved to hear another 'half foreigner' voice their feelings about this type of going away. I always feel like a freak decamping at length to the 'other place'. (Bet my neighbours don't feel their house in France is freaky.)

If bad internet is so good for literature, maybe I should let my wreck to those who need to write a few chapters? (It's warm in the winter, even. The house, I mean.)