Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Two Days Writing Anne Cassidy


I am writing my first untitled detective novel for teenagers (BIG GIRLS SHOES). I am in the English department room at Somerset Boys’ School in Haringey. The school is closing and in its last year so there is plenty of free time. In between lessons I sit at an electric type writer and write the story. I use every free minute I have to type. When I finish a few pages I read it. Then I sometimes go back and type the whole thing over again because I don’t like some of the lines. I don’t bother with carbon copies I photocopy what I do. Somebody mentions something about a word processor but I won’t have anything to do with it because I’m suspicious of new things. When people come in I usually cover up what I’m doing because I’m embarrassed to admit I’m writing a story. I read over my words and like some of what I’ve written. At the end of the day I square up my pages and unplug the typewriter. Then I put the cover over it and leave. I find I have written half a chapter and feel pleased.

I get up and turn the computer on. It’s the first thing I do every day. I work in my study next to my bedroom. After I’ve had a cup of tea I sit in my nightclothes and look at my emails and then Twitter. Then I go through all the blogs I like. Finally I make myself settle down to work on a chapter of the first book of my four book series THE MURDER NOTEBOOKS. Using a timer clock I write for fifteen minutes. It’s important for me to get something down on paper early. Then I go and have breakfast and get dressed and tidy up then I write for a while. After a break I go on to FACEBOOK and have a look around. I check my ratings on Amazon and feel grumpy for a while. Then I write some more. I print out sections of what I’ve written because I don’t really trust the computer to look after it. I deal with some emails from readers and then go on Amazon and look up my ratings and feel ridiculously pleased because they are higher than last time. Then I put the title of my latest book into Google and search for reviews. Then I write. I read through some of what I’ve written over the last weeks and try to see where I’m going. I go on Twitter and try to think of something pithy to say. This goes on all day. At the end of the day I turn my computer off and square up my pages and feel pretty pleased.


catdownunder said...

I have been writing something set in "pre-history" according to my nephews - that is pre-computer and mobile 'phone!

Charlie Butler said...

Lovely idea for a post, Anne!

Penny Dolan said...

Nice post. I like the 15 mins of writing idea. So often it's a case of getting started before all the admin anxiety kicks in.

Helena Pielichaty said...

Were we separated at birth or what? Your past and present writing life mirrors mine only at the moment I'm not managing the 15 minutes!!

Anonymous said...

I'm liking the timer idea and thank you for not letting me the only one who works in my pj's. Now we just need to convince my OH.

Keep up the good work, take care.
Kate Collings
xx - always wecoming new followers, guests and comments xx

Savita Kalhan said...

So glad it's not just me, Anne, and the timer idea is inspired! I have forced myself to banish the internet to another computer, so that I'm not tempted to do the Amazon, Google, Twitter, Facebook malarchy, essential though those things are, when I'm trying to write! However, my iPhone has made all that much more manageable.
Are you ever tempted to go back to the typewriter?

Josh Lacey said...

Have you come across the Pomodoro Technique? It also uses a timer to focus concentration. Charlie Brooker wrote a good article in the guardian this week about escaping internet distractions by using Pomodoro.