Sunday, 19 October 2014

Where I write by Valerie-Anne Baglietto

The bossy Novelista, Valerie-Anne Baglietto, is next up to show us where she works and to spill the beans on a few of her writing habits... 

Imagine the scene... 

It's 8.30 and the kids have been dispatched to school. I haven't completely emptied the dishwasher yet or put the washing machine on, but I have got dressed in my comfiest jogging pants and T-shirt. One of the things I love about being a writer is the fact I haven't got to slap on make-up, comb my frizz or squeeze into a power suit.

So first things first. Coffee to get my brain in gear. It might sound like a cliche, but it honestly does help me focus and gives my imagination a boost. It also keeps me awake because, after all, juggling the demands of three kids of fourteen and under can be a wee bit tiring. 

I thought it would be easier the older they got. 

Favourite mug!
Hahaha.... *feeble laughter* 


No, it isn't. That's a myth to keep parents going through the early years. 

So, where do I actually write? 

That's what you really want to know or you wouldn't be reading this. Well, the answer is 'all over the place'. When I'm being good and taking care of my poor neck, I'm upstairs at my desk with my ergonomic keyboard. Because of lack of space, though, this room is also my eldest son's den, so I can only use it when he's at school or out with his friends. Thankfully this is quite often. Here's a photo of it looking neat and organised. I have to tidy daily because my son is a) male and b) a teenager, and apparently not a control freak like me.

When I'm being naughty...

My good posture suffers and I take the laptop downstairs to the lounge. Sometimes I need a change of scene. I recently bought this coffee table on eBay from a local seller. I love a bargain and I wanted a nice solid oak table where I could slot in some large baskets for storage and also spread out my paraphernalia on top. (Disclaimer: I do not endorse this writing position, it will leave you with a stiff neck and aching shoulders and possibly harm your long-term writing career.)

I tend to make all my notes in long-hand but when I'm deep in writing mode I have to bash out everything electronically. I can touch type quickly, so it feels as if my thoughts flow automatically on to the screen. I also don't print anything out to edit these days. I change my work as I go along, as I can't do the first-draft-in-one-go thing. It just isn't the way I produce my best writing. When I'm on a second/third draft I transfer my story to my Kindle to read through it again. It truly is amazing, the errors and discrepancies that pop up when you change the font and the layout of your work. Also, it saves a fortune on ink and paper and stops my printer from blowing up. 

When I'm reading work through on my Kindle I like to curl up in the conservatory, but at the moment my conservatory looks something like this:

We've had to build a new one as the previous timber construction was rotting and leaking. My imagination is coming in handy right now, as I can see myself stretched out on a squashy sofa with my Kindle and mug of coffee, making editorial notes or watching wispy clouds drift across the sky through the glass roof... There are all sorts of fairy tales up there, waiting for me to grab them.

Oh, I love my job. I really, really do! Even on those days when my writing is rubbish and no one in their right mind will ever read it. 

Anyway, I think I've said enough, and I feel an urgent coffee break coming on. If anyone has any questions I'm happy to answer them, just leave a comment below and I'll get back to you.

(That's me being bossy, by the way. Apparently that's what I do best!)
Twitter: @VABaglietto
Facebook: Valerie-Anne Baglietto Author


  1. I envy you....I'm a teacher and my morning is spent among shouting teenagers....luckily there are writers like you to comfort me in the evenings!

    1. Thanks, Lorenza. That's a lovely thing to say! And by the way, I seem to spend my evenings shouting at teenagers (and tweens), so writing during the day helps keep me sane.

  2. For once I've managed to get on the blog. Enjoying reading how you do it, Val, and learning about where you write. Must get in touch with Jo and make an effort to do the same myself.

    1. Please do, June. Jo would love to hear from you. I'm glad my nagging is paying off!


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