Where I Write: Cultivating Inspiration in the Greenhouse

Image by Sarah Painter
Category: Writing

I've been working at home since I had my daughter almost thirteen years ago, and I've been dreaming of a room of my own for probably the same time. Of course, working on the laptop in the house has its advantages - especially when you're fitting it in during the baby’s nap and the school run - but I always thought that having a dedicated writing room would mean: a. I would finally be a 'real' writer, and b. I would become incredibly prolific.

It wasn’t that simple, though. There were the practical considerations of researching and planning, not to mention paying for it, but by far the biggest obstacle was myself.

I felt guilty at the thought of spending so much money on something that was just for me.

Also, I was worried that I’d somehow jinx myself. I had horrible visions of sitting in my pristine little office and not writing a single word. Then I wouldn’t just be selfish and profligate, I’d be a fraud.

Despite overwhelming support from my lovely husband and my family and friends, I still felt that I needed permission, somehow, to really commit to writing and getting an office was an emblem of that commitment.

Last year, I finally realised that I was waiting for permission that I didn't need. I reminded myself that this feeling of not being 'good enough' was just that; A feeling.

I chose a small purpose-built garden office (installed in one long day by the brilliant Booth’s Garden Studios) and filled it with inspirational quotes, vintage fabric and china, books, and my computer. It’s a lovely space, and I feel so grateful every morning as I walk across the grass with my mug of tea.

The front is almost entirely glass, so there’s loads of light, and it’s so well insulated that a tiny electric heater keeps it cosier than the main house, even in the depths of the Scottish winter. Now, the heater is off and the sun is streaming through the glass, warming the room.  I’ve got the window open and can hear the birds singing as I type this. It’s bliss.

After booking in the company to build my office, I signed with Agent Fabulous (AKA Sallyanne Sweeney of Watson, Little, Ltd). Since my studio was installed, I signed a publishing deal with Carina UK and landed a weekly writing column for Novelicious (pretty much my dream freelance gig). My début, The Language of Spells, just came out, and I’m happily working on the follow up.

Now, I’m not saying my office works magic, but you have to wonder…

Sarah Painter

Sarah Painter is a writer based in Scotland. She won Scottish Book Trust's 50 Word Fiction Competition in January and writes a weekly blog for Novellicious