As several of you probably know from my constant tweets and general recommendations, I am a huge fan of The Rosie Project. Its sequel, The Rosie Effect, dropped through my door a few weeks ago and, from the opening line – “Orange juice was not scheduled for Wednesdays.” – I was hooked. Predictably wonderful, beautifully funny and movingly poignant, The Rosie Effect is in my top three books of the year. 2014 seems to be a good year for books. This pleases me.
The wonderful people at Penguin asked me if I’d like to be part of Simsion’s blog tour, and of course I accepted voraciously. Can you accept something voraciously? You can now. Below is Graeme Simsion’s ‘writing room’ – a description of where and how he writes. Enjoy. And remember to buy The Rosie Effect, and its predecessor if you haven’t yet read it. You’ll enjoy them both, I promise.
My Writer’s Room
Do I have a special place to write? It’s one of the most frequently-asked questions, and I suspect that behind it there’s the belief that there’s some ‘secret’ to writing – a place, a time of day, a ritual – other than actually putting in the time and learning the craft.
Before I was a writer, I worked in information technology and management. Much of the work that I did was genuinely creative, but nobody ever asked if I had a special place where I liked to do database design.
In any case, I spend much of my life on the road. Before I was a full-time writer, I was delivering seminars around the world, and since the publication of The Rosie Project in Australia in January 2013, I’ve been travelling pretty constantly, including five or six trips to the UK. So if I did have a special place, I wouldn’t be able to get to it most of the time. And I had a book to write.
So my ‘Writer’s Room’ is wherever my notebook PC is – on a plane, in any room of the house at home, on the Camino de Santiago. Much of The Rosie Effect was written on holiday in New York, the location of the book, in the apartment we’d rented. But to escape the box, I’d sometimes take it to the public library and work there.
There are a couple of places I don’t like to work. My office, with the desktop computer, would be the sensible choice in many ways but I associate it with doing administration and it sucks the joy out of writing. I’d use it if I had to, but it’s only a few paces to the living room… And, unlike Hemingway, I don’t like working in cafes, despite being surrounded by them in my inner-suburban neighbourhood. Just not the right vibe, sadly.
Okay: if I could choose anywhere… My wife and I have a little shack up country about an hour from Melbourne. Both of us love to write there and when we’re at home, that’s where we go. And if one of us is on a roll, the other has to cook dinner.