Okay, so I haven’t got frostbite just yet, but one of these days, this could be the headline in a local newspaper:

“Irish Writer found with fingers frozen to her keyboard…”

Being a writer in Ireland is a bitterly cold job, especially in the west of Ireland, because it’s so bloody damp!  I’ve tried to come up with ingenious new ways to keep warm while I’m writing (aside from keeping the central heating on all day, which only results in me nodding off into a dry heat coma).  These involve sipping lots of hot drinks throughout the day, stepping my feet into an electric ‘bootie’ type setup (that’s bootie for boots, not the other bootie, that’d just be weird), wearing Fagan ‘fingerless’ gloves (which sometimes leaves me hankering to do a theatrical rendition of ‘Consider Yourself’).  I’ve also been known to wear ear muffs too and when all else fails, I just light the fire and snuggle up with my laptop on the living room floor.  Not very structured or comfortable, which are two very important elements when trying to write a novel.

I read once that Marian Keyes used to do a lot of her writing in bed – another victim of the damp Irish chill, no doubt.  So I tried that too, tucked up with me hot water bottle AND electric blanket – now there’s a recipe for disaster (and another newspaper headline – “Writer electrocuted in efforts to keep warm!”).  There should be some kind of government grant – a payment for climatically challenged writers to see them through the winter months.

So I’m considering drastic measures, my dear readers.  I’m thinking of (sharp intake of breath) going out!  Perhaps to a cafe or a local hotel.  I mean, if it’s good enough for J.K. Rowling, right?  But how do you focus on your work, when all about you is coffee machines, mummies and babies and pushchairs and business people on their mobile phones?  I’m not sure I’d get much writing done with all that din, but it’s that or stay at home freezing my bits off.

I’d love to hear where you do your writing and if you have any tips for a (brrrr) chilly writer.  If you feel the need to offer me the use of a rambling old estate in Southern France to complete my book, all the better 😉

My fingers thawed out just long enough to write these two novels, which you can buy here:

Sarah & Evan



4 thoughts on “Frostbitten!

  1. Yes I’d leave the writing in bed to good old Miss Keyes. I’d be asleep in the time it takes to start up me computer. Now, cafes and coffee shops, well, let me give you the skinny…
    You need to do some reconnaissance first. You do: Who serves the best tea, has the most desks for laptops, has the appropriate level of heat, music not too loud, and yes no push chairs. Then plug yourself in to and your book’ll be writ in the time it takes Marian Keyes to put on her slippers and plod to the stove to put the kettle on 🙂

    1. You’re like the writing fairy! That’s a great checklist for cafes – because you don’t want them to be too hot either, or you’re back to nodding off 😉 Will check out Simply Noise – sounds perfect. Hope your writing is going well (and goosebump-free!)

  2. I live in Alaska and it’s -8 right now. I stay warm at my desk by wrapping an electric blanket totally around my body; the only thing that peeks out are my hands and wrists. It does the job quite nicely though I have to fight the cat for it, lol. I’ve tried writing at cafes before and sometimes it’s been great and sometimes it’s been too distracting, depending upon both the noise level and my mood. Cheers, happy writing and stay warm.

    1. Hi Cinthia,
      WARM greetings to you 🙂 Gosh, Alaska, -8, I feel kind of bad now – it hasn’t even gone below freezing here yet and I’m already moaning! But to be fair, I used to live in Montreal where -20 was the norm and I swear I never felt the cold there like I feel it in my native land. Maybe they construct their houses differently (for differently, see better!)
      Still, I feel much better knowing I’m not the only chilly writer out there – and wrapping the blanket around you at your desk, GENIUS! It’s probably the one thing I haven’t tried! Your poor cat, you’ll have to get him a mini one 😉 The things we do for writing, eh?

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