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How I like to Write My Books

Acclaimed ghostwriter Katy Weitz describes the way she likes to write her books...

I am sometimes asked about the way I like to write my books - do I have a favourite chair I sit in or a place I like to go for peace and quiet? For many, the idea of spending several hours a day writing is a little mystifying, not to mention intimidating. But I suppose, since writing is my job, I treat it like a job. Once I've done all my interviews and put a chapter outline in place, I can get down to work with the serious business of writing. I work Monday to Thursday from 9.30 till 5pm or as long as school/nursery hours allow. Fridays are flexible since my youngest doesn’t have nursery that day and my partner and I bargain for work time.

The only difference with my job is that I choose where my office will be day by day. I have several ‘haunts’ I like to write in – my local library is a favourite, as is the hotel up the road, then there are various coffee bars, rooms in my home and even a beach hut! I like the stimulation of different environments. A book will be written in all of these places over the course of 5-12 weeks. Noise doesn’t bother me at all but I don’t seek it out. Once I am into my work, I am in that world completely and not easily distracted. At the start of each writing day I review the chapters I wrote the day before – it’s a good way to revise my work as I go along and also helps me to ‘get into character’. I can usually do two chapters a day which averages at about 7000 words but I aim for five chapters a week just to keep the pressure off and to build in revision time at the end. It all goes straight onto the computer and then saved into my DropBox since I’m paranoid about losing work. There is nothing more terrifying than the idea of pouring out your heart and soul to produce some fantastic work only to lose it because of a tehcnical 'glitch'.

Some days it comes out easier than others but I always try to hit my targets because writing to deadline means you can’t be too precious. If the muse isn’t there I just plough on regardless and hope it returns the next day. Perhaps at the beach hut!

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