I’ve discovered I can write perfectly well on trains.
This surprised me, as when I was younger I absolutely had to write in silence. Any kind of distraction would break me from my rhythm and send me into a bad, unproductive mood.
Now though I have a baby girl, whom I worship and adore. However, the thing is with having a baby girl, is that if you have a precious ‘no distractions’ rule, she is going to break it.
I’m learning quickly.
At the weekend I was scribbling away while she had fun on her play-mat next to me, occasionally breaking to lend a paternal hand when she rolled herself onto her front and wanted to be back on her back.
My main place of inspiration though is the train. I get to sit down for twenty minutes each morning and I use it to write first drafts of chapters. People are all around me, coughing, shuffling in their seats, talking on their phones – but I’m zoned out and getting the words I want down. There are other places I write – the Pret near my office at lunchtime, for example (and yesterday I managed to write whilst two ladies conducted a job interview right beside me: a personal triumph!) – but the train is my most regular and reliable.
The truly amazing thing is that I’ve been doing this for three weeks and have a rough, early draft of the first third of a whole new book.
Screw you, distractions! You don’t have sway over me anymore!