Hi, I’m Louisa Heaton and I’m the newest author for Harlequin Mills and Boon Medical. I’ve been thinking a lot about how my writing has changed over the years and how my writing habits have changed too.
Writing used to be a nice hobby. I dreamed of making it big one day and getting that magical ‘Call’, but as all my submissions never-quite-made-it, I’d resigned myself to being a hobbyist writer. I took it seriously, but the writing was mainly for me. I enjoyed doing it, I enjoyed crafting stories and thinking up gorgeous heroes my heroine could fall in love with. But I discussed my writing with no-one. Nada. Not even my husband when he kept asking me what I was working on.
But now I’ve had the call and got the contract and suddenly, I’ve changed. I don’t mean I’ve turned into a diva! I now tell my hubby what I’m writing to see if he has any insights. I walk my dogs on the beach every day, muttering out loud snippets of conversation and wrestling out plot points and hope that people don’t think I’m some sort of weirdo as I talk and argue with myself. (I always hope they think I’m talking to my dogs!)
But the thing I’ve realised the most is that it’s hard. It’s hard to be creative every day, it’s exhausting sometimes and the only thing that seems to make it easier is to make sure that as a writer, you have ‘down time’. I don’t mean those periods when you’re sat at home doing nothing, but those times when you actually leave the house and go out and do something. I find I’m much more creative if I’ve gone out and focused on something else.
It doesn’t have to be a planned outing to a historical house or a museum, it can be a simple walk somewhere you’ve never been before. Recently, I walked the Hayling Island Billy Trail. It’s a path that runs down one side of the Island and takes in the old oyster beds and a nature reserve. It was a beautiful sunny day, warm and soothing. There were clear blue skies, a myriad of birds in the shallow waters and I even saw a dormouse just sitting out on the pathway.
I came back from the walk brimming with ideas and this so worked for me, I try and make sure I get out of the house and away from the laptop at least twice a week. What do you do to fill the well? What gets your writing flowing again? Apart from staring at gorgeous hunks on Pinterest?