The Opposite of Popular

The online home of alleged author Victoria Leybourne

A picture that sums up my year so far.

2 Comments

I go through weird phases with where and how I write. Sometimes it’s “nowhere and not at all no matter how frustrated I get with myself about it”, and that’s always fun. I’m looking at you, last quarter of 2014.

When I was 13 I spent an angst-ridden summer writing a novel something that almost looked like a novel if you squinted at it really hard. It was probably about 15,000 words long and I’m pretty sure I wrote it entirely hunched up over my laptop on my bed, surrounded by Beanie Babies. I used to get up early every morning to work on it before breakfast. I named my laptop Artemis, after Artemis Fowl, because I had a crush on him.

A few years later, in a different house, I had an armchair in my bedroom. One of these IKEA ones that are slowly taking over the world. They bounce a little, only your mum tells you not to do that too much or you’ll break it. I read a book that promised a foolproof way to plan your novel section by section and carefully drew out grids and filled in boxes, because that felt a lot like writing but was actually less work. I used to carefully position a lamp for “mood lighting” and play a special mix CD that I felt really took me on the characters’ emotional journey while I wrote longhand in a notebook. I stuck a sign on my door that said not to disturb me because I was a writer at work, but I still had to come down and eat dinner with everybody else.

Now I’m an adult and there are two desks and a dining table in my house and I’m allowed to use any of them for whatever I want. I’ve moved them around: in front of windows so I can stare out thoughtfully, in front of blank walls so I have to concentrate. I’ve cleared them to be free of distractions and stacked them with notes to have everything at my fingertips. Some things work for a while. Sometimes, for a while, nothing works.

Apparently what works at the moment is candles. Maybe the flickering candlelight helps me to connect with the pre-electricity setting of my novel. Or maybe I just like melting the wax from the leftover candle stubs over the flames when I stop to think.

My laptop, surrounded by matches,  a candle stick, tea lights and a foil tray filled with chunks of white wax.

They’re both strong possibilities. All I’m saying is, that foil tray is full of the ruins of at least four candles. And I went to the trouble of finding a foil tray to drip wax into while I’m writing. I’m weird.

So, where do you guys work?

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2 thoughts on “A picture that sums up my year so far.

  1. I have a beautiful office/sewing room. However, due to my youngest needing more room to spread out and work on his art, I don’t write in there often. It’s hard to write sexytimes while your kid is two feet away and prone to reading over your shoulder. Now, I mostly write on the couch in the living – with my back to the wall.

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  2. Pingback: Things I Wrote When I Was A Kid – Part Two: “Now much more sensible” | Victoria Leybourne: The Opposite of Popular

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