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Author Pip Drysdale's Writing Routine

Pip Drysdale


Welcome to Luxuread’s new monthly series,My Writing Routine. In this series,we’ll be talking to authors and writers from around the world to find out more about how and where they write and the tips and techniques they use that helped land them with that all-important book deal.

Covering everything from morning rituals, to maximising productivity and how a workspace can affect creativity, read on to find out more about what a typical day of writing looks like for Pip Drysdale, author of The Paris Affair, which you can find in February’s Luxuread box.

What does a typical day of writing look like for you?

When I'm putting together a first draft, I wake up, put on coffee and write for a couple of hours or until the ideas run dry. After that I think, I live my life, I research, and I come back to the page periodically during the day when I know what needs to happen next. So it can range from anywhere between 2 - 8 hours at this stage. When I'm doing a rewrite, on the other hand, I work all day, every day until I run out of food and have to go to the supermarket.

Where do you write from?

I either write from bed, or from a small desk facing the creativity direction of my flat (Feng Shui). I have no idea if it helps, but am really superstitious!

What are your non-negotiables when it comes to writing?

Coffee, quiet, and faith.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

From the second draft of my first book. 

How has the way you write changed over the past few years?

I don't push as hard now. If it's not coming, I try to walk away for a bit. I don't rush it as much now. Well, I try not to...

Do you have any tips or techniques you can share that make writing easier?

Do it every day, even if it's just journalling, and read a lot. Other than that, be okay with failing. Otherwise you write from fear.

Where would your dream writing spot be?

There was this diner in Gloucester Road in London, with bottomless coffee that I wrote the first draft of The Sunday Girl in. Usually I need quiet to write, but there was something about the lighting and the ambient sound there that really inspired me. The people who worked there used to reserve my favourite booth for me and I'd sit and drink coffee and eat pancakes and write. It has since closed down, but in a perfect world, I would write there every day of my life.

On the days you’re not at home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?

Yes, I've written away from home a lot, but the routine stays the same: coffee, computer, write and pray to the writing fairies.