I’m often asked where I like to write, and over the years my reply has become almost apologetic, as though I really should offer a more interesting response. But the truth is that I write from home, at a tiny desk in a corner of the living room, facing a wall of very unfashionable painted-over wallpaper.
It’s not glamorous, but it’s where I do my best work. I’ve tried cafes, parks, libraries, friends’ houses… but I can never lose myself in my writing the way I can at home, when I’m in my own familiar surroundings, a pot of coffee nearby, the sound of the Tube rushing past every few minutes, the neighbours rattling around in their own little spaces.
I worried, when the UK went into lockdown in March, that I’d go stir-crazy, or worse - that I simply wouldn’t be able to write. After all, when I was writing my previous novels, I didn’t have to be at home every day. While I was working on Like Mother, Like Daughter, I even spent some time writing and researching in my hometown of Adelaide, South Australia, where the novel is set. It certainly wasn’t as productive as usual, but it was a much-enjoyed change of scenery (and weather)! Lockdown was going to test whether I actually liked writing from home, or if variety was the key to appreciating my usual routine.
As my husband moved his work station onto the tiny dining table behind my desk and we struggled to find new rhythms (which music would work for both of us? Where would we take phone calls?), I panicked that I wouldn’t be able to write under these new, very unusual, conditions.
So it’s been an extremely pleasant surprise to discover that, even if I was asked today where I like to write, my answer would remain the same: at home. Only now, I won’t be apologetic about it. I have a new appreciation for my four walls, textured wallpaper and all.
And I look forward to writing my next novel here, too, confident that it’s where I truly do my best work.
Elle Croft was born in South Africa, grew up in Australia and moved to the UK in 2010 after travelling around the world with her husband. She works as a freelance social media specialist and also blogs about travel, food and life in London. Her debut novel, The Guilty Wife, is a top 10 Kindle Bestseller. Alongside Nicki Mackay and Victoria Selman, Elle is part of the Crime Girl Gang, a true crime podcast
Like Mother Like Daughter by Elle Croft is published by Orion, £8.99
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