Article published on December 18, 2016.
Natasha Solomons – author of The Song Collector
I shall banish the writer mother’s guilt!
I’m often asked at festivals or book groups whether I have any writerly rituals. The answer is no, not any more. I used to find my fingerless gloves (it was very cold in our old summer house, belying the name) and I’d search for just the right playlist. Now, if the children are at nursery/ school/ asleep for half an hour, then the muse had better find me at my desk.
Yet, it is still not that easy. I agonise about not writing my new book quickly enough and quietly, guiltily, put the baby into nursery for an extra half day here and there. Then, I have a surge of a week and I’m dreaming of Paris and Vienna and I hear my characters chatter in my dreams. But the pleasure is short lived. I’ve put the baby in nursery too much. She follows me from room to room (even into the loo, where she strokes my leg and offers me loo roll). I cancel next week’s extra nursery days. I play dinosaurs. We puddle jump. She sleeps. Somehow, the book still gets written, if a little more slowly…