Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Ultimate Writing Day

So all this week, the Luckies have been talking about our dream writing days. Amy McCulloch, author of the upcoming YA Fantasy The Oathbreaker's Shadow, talks about hers...

When I dream of the perfect writing day, I picture my cottage, on the secluded shores of a lake in the Rideau system near Ottawa, Canada. It's cold, but not cold enough that I can't go for my early morning jog - just enough for my breath to form clouds in the air as I puff my way through pine trees and silver birch. The best writing time for me happens when I'm just that little bit expended of excess energy - when my body feels warm and I can sink into my imagination without those pesky itchy feet.

A view from my cottage a few days ago (wish I was there!) - amazing
It's winter, or at least - winter is coming - and time to light a nice cosy fire. Then I snuggle up with my fountain pen and notepad and flick back to the last scene I had been constructing. One of the writer tips I've picked up along the way that seems to work for me is to always try to leave things mid-action, or even mid-sentence, so that you can pick up the threads of your work and be pulled in quickly. I'd write, a steaming mug of tea close by, maybe a packet of Cadbury's chocolate buttons (necessary fuel) too, solidly, without interruption, for a few hours. 

Hopefully I wouldn't see one of these on my run!

Now is when my ideal writing day turns from possible reality into dream world. After a few hours of pure creation (and hitting ideally 1,000-1,500 words for the day), I'd head out into a nice cafe (back in London, UK!) for lunch or afternoon drinks with some writer friends. So much about this business is about community, and talking with people with whom you can share all your writerly insecurities, ideas and plans. Sometimes there's nothing like just getting out there and talking to people for re-inspiring the muse.

Then, it would be back to the cottage for a stunning sunset while cooking a delicious dinner - probably (knowing me) something meaty like a delicious steak, and a glass of wine. The writing out of the way, it'd be time for the greatest pleasure - picking up a great book (preferably written by a Lucky!) and settling in for a night of reading and a boxset (at the moment, it's still The Wire for me!). 

A beautiful sunset, but slightly cheating... this was from my trip through Cape Breton, NS

Pure bliss. 

Amy McCulloch is a girl of many publishing hats: author, editor, and reader. Originally from Ottawa, Canada, she currently lives in London, UK. Other than books, she is addicted to travelling, running and Starbucks coffee.

Her debut novel THE OATHBREAKER'S SHADOW is due June 6 2013 from Random House Children's Publishers UK and Doubleday Canada. Find out more on her blog or feel free to say hello on Twitter


  1. I want your perfect writing day, it sounds fantastic!

  2. A wintry cabin in the woods is made for writing. Love it. Have to settle for my house in sunny LA right now ;)

  3. that is detailed! You even thought of the steak. Would it be rare? I hope so. I love steak still bleeding.