I have always maintained that I can write anywhere. If I was the kind of writer who could only create in a silent study with the door closed, I'd never have been published.
|Me with my Mac in Perlis State Park a few days back|
The formative writing years crafting my skills were to the background of children's squabbles, and constant interruptions. Later, the years as a published writer coincided with my career working on projects to do with the ornithological component of the Malaysian rainforest. That meant loads of travel -- by boat, plane, car or on foot with a backpack; staying everywhere and anywhere, from 5 star accommodation complete with imported Dead Sea salts in the marble bathroom (I kid you not), to a tent in a peat swamp complete with bears raiding the food in the middle of the night (not kidding there, either); from bathing in a stagnant water pool half a kilometre away down a steep slope, to sleeping on bare concrete floors in a hut full of sandflies.
|This the the row of chalets where we were staying In Perlis State Park|
Fortunately or unfortunately, editors in far off places don't care what an author does in other facets of her life -- they want manuscripts handed in on time, copy edits done in a turn around of two weeks, proof reading completed in a couple of days. So, a wise writer with another job learns not to be too picky about writing environments and to write in airports or trains if that's what it takes, copy edit by candlelight if need be, and do the proofs at lunchtime in Starbucks. Or worse. (I seem to remember reading somewhere that Jane Austen wrote at boring family gatherings by standing at the mantelshelf scribbling in her notebook, but I can't remember the reference to check it...)
|The view out of the back door after rain|
Luckily, our recent trip to Perlis State Park up near the Thai border was a lovely place to write. My husband was taking students on field work; I tagged along and wrote.
|The chalet in the evening|
What better place than on that little porch overlooking the stream? (Usually the water is clearer than that, but it was raining.)
|The view out of the front door|
|From the back porch|
|View from the bedroom window|
|Sometimes seats and table for writers are provided...|
Ok, so on this trip I lucked out!
It's not always so good. But learn to use a few minutes here, and a few minutes there. Learn to shut out the noise and the curious glances. Learn to write when you aren't necessarily comfortable, when you have to watch out for the leeches (yeah, Perlis State Park after rain was rife with them, even in the chalet!). Becoming a published writer isn't easy, especially for someone who already has a job. It takes time and effort. So learn to use the moments in between here and there, between now and next...They mount up, those minutes -- and so do the words.