Out of my Comfort Zone

A while ago we were having our bedroom decorated and were thus sleeping in the spare room. Nothing unusual about that, you might say, but after seven days I couldn’t wait to get back into my own bed. And then I realised it wasn’t just the bed but the whole room (now in soothing tones of cream and mushroom). The bathroom was in a different place when I got up in the middle of the night. The window was on the wrong side of the room. So that all got me thinking. Are we always happy with where we write and does it have an effect on what we write? 

We live in a traditional three-bedroomed house and some years ago the smallest of these was turned into a home office for me. I was SO excited. Bookcases lined the walls, a new desk assembled – not a posh one but perfectly serviceable. The printer was set up. I could look across the road into a field in times of reverie or when searching for inspiration. What could be better? 

Well, the temperature for a start. The room is north-east facing and has two outside walls. Even with the central heating on it never felt warm. With my back to the rest of the house, as it were, I felt cut off. This should have been a good thing as far as writing was concerned. No distractions, nothing to pull me out of my concentration. But it didn’t work. Not from the word go. Like my experience in the spare bedroom, I was out of my comfort zone. I felt a little sheepish when I told my husband that thank you very much but I would be returning to the hub of the home to work as before. Fortunately we hadn’t expended huge amounts on the transformation.


Writers often talk about their office or their garden shed or that place which is exclusively theirs. Some people dream about having their own space. But when it comes down to it we all have to go with whatever works for us. So I don’t have white boards and pin boards and other such useful tools.

What I do have is a place where I feel at ease and can lose myself in the adventures, antics, activities, hopes and fears of my characters, all from the comfort of my armchair. My laptop sits on a cushioned tray. I have a table to right and left on which I stack the things I might need to refer to. And I’m warm – inside and out.


Do you have a dedicated office or writing space? Is it something you yearn for? Think twice before you take the plunge. Sometimes the things you most wish for are those you already have. Returning to my own bed was wonderful. And now, as I write this piece, I am happily back in my comfort zone. How about you?

See you next time

Natalie

And When It Comes It Brings Good Cheer

And slowly answer’d Arthur from the barge: “The old order changeth, yielding place to new’ 

This quote from Tennyson’s Morte d’Arthur is for me like a ghost from Christmas past. The very long ago past when I could spew out massive chunks from this work and still some remain with me. Well, the old order has certainly changed beyond recognition, hasn’t it? Here’s another (the opening) 

So all day long the noise of battle roll’d
Among the mountains by the winter sea’

And it has been a battle, hasn’t it, which sadly so many people have lost. Even a year ago no-one could have imagined how our world would change in such a short space of time. I put this here not to dwell on past struggles but hopefully to shine a light on the future – hence the title of this post. Have you noticed how good people can be in the face of adversity? How much of themselves some people give? Well I have and that is what I’ll be taking with me into 2021. I’ll give only one example for they are far too numerous to mention, but will any of us forget Captain Tom Moore who raised in excess of £33m for the NHS. His Just Giving page is still open if you want to add to that sum.

Sadly, due to Covid 19, the anticipated publication by Sapere Books of my four Regency romantic novels has been delayed and I hope the first, The Reluctant Bride, will be with you in the spring. Since the cover is ready to go and I love it so much, here is what it will look like. Isn’t it fabulous!

In the meantime, I’ve written a tale to celebrate the season. Christmas at The Grange, available on Amazon, is an uplifting short story set in 1816, I hope it will bring you some cheer.

And so I return to the title of this piece. Whatever your persuasion, I wish every one of you a very Happy Christmas and hope it brings you all the good cheer you could wish for. Here’s to a better 2021