I’m in Wells Next the Sea for a week’s writing, with the aim of writing my way into book two. I had an outline, and have binned it, or at least simplified it, and that’s fine. I can’t write if I know entirely where I’m going, the writing comes out of the writing, I need it to surprise me.
It’s a delight, really a delight, to be working on a new book. I’m here with two other writers and good friends, who are also working on novels. We come away, twice yearly, out of season, when the seaside towns have largely emptied out, and the rent is affordable. Always the Norfolk coast and in reach of the sea. We write, walk, write, write, write. In the evenings, we take it in turns to cook. On the last night, we go to the pub. Every evening we feedback on each other’s work. It’s intense, focused, hard work, but extraordinarily productive too. By the end of the week, we’re usually cursing not having booked a fortnight. Oh, the words we could have written if we did! We say that every time.
I don’t need a room of my own to write. But I do need this time away. It’s part of valuing my writing. It’s not a holiday and my writing is not a hobby.