Welcome to the blog tour of Patricia Dixon’s book OVER MY SHOULDER
My Writing Day by Patricia Dixon
I feel very lucky to be a full-time writer. My day is my own and I have unlimited access to the telly, the internet and the fridge so I have formulated a routine which doesn’t allow for lazy lie-ins and keeps me organised and healthy. It would be so easy to meander through the day in my slippers and dressing gown or sit on my bottom for the majority of it, but I still have a house and business to run, and a dodgy ticker that I’m determined won’t pack in just yet. This is why I am up at 7.30am and after a fortifying cup of coffee (nothing happens before that), I head downstairs to the gym and depending on how enthusiastic I’m feeling, exercise for at least thirty minutes, just Sky News and Deezer for company. Sometimes I catch-up on the soaps which means stay longer, a double dose of Emmerdale and Coronation Street can be a wonderful incentive.
Once this task is completed I embark on another – my housework. It has become something of a ritual for which I am considering cognitive therapy. I truly cannot function in an untidy house or room. I once had a friend who was hypnotised to stop her from eating cheese – I’m not sure why but it didn’t work so for the foreseeable future I am permanently attached to Mr Sheen and my trusty mop. After that I usually prepare dinner (or defrost something) as this way I can write straight through and my husband doesn’t starve. I often lose track of time and before you ask no, he doesn’t cook, he’s terrible at it, makes a mess and uses too many pans!
I try to be at my desk by 10am and here, I have another self-imposed rule – abstinence, which I apply to social media. Facebook is a curse and it only takes one peep to lure me in and then I’m hooked, chatting and commenting, and saving recipes that I never actually cook.
That said, some time has to be devoted to marketing and keeping in touch with the outside world so during my pre-gym coffee, I check emails and notifications, then again at lunchtime. Once I’ve clocked off for the evening which is usually around 7pm I’m allowed to catch up on the day’s events, and chat with my booky friends.
My husband also works from home and my desk looks onto his workshop so I can keep an eye on him. I’m his trusty secretary, typist and bookkeeper, bringer of brews and biscuits and the harridan who bangs on the window and tells him to come inside for food, put a jumper on or take the bins out.
I like my present place of work and over the years I’ve been quite nomadic in my choice of writing-space. I began up in the attic and although it was peaceful, I felt rather isolated. It’s a very long way from the kettle and human life. My next choice was the kitchen but here, despite being within arm’s reach of the biscuit tin I was disturbed by visitors who had the same effect as Facebook, coercing me into chatting and drinking cups of tea. After extracting myself from the room of many temptations I tried the lounge but the comfy chair and the open fire made me nod off so now, I’m firmly ensconced in the dining room.
Occasionally I’m on school-run duty and I look forward to a break in routine and a chat and sneaky snack with Harry, my grandson who bestowed upon me the award for Best Butty Maker. I try to encourage him to do his homework but apparently grandmas are for fun not boring stuff but when I do get my way I love a bit of creative writing and colouring in. We leave the sums for Mum and Dad.
At some point during the latter end of the week I escape to the supermarket where I take absolutely ages – it’s like my big day out. I’ve been going to the same one for thirty years and know most of the lovely staff and have a good natter to the check-out ladies. I used to take my mum each Friday and now she’s gone, I really miss our fish and chip lunches in the cafe. Happy times.
I still write on Saturdays and have Sunday off, unless I am editing or on a roll and then I’ll put in a few hours of extra work and flatten my bottom some more. The only downside to this writing lark is sitting still, especially in winter because we live in a rambling Victorian house that can be very cold and I frequently get cramp and frostbite (a slight exaggeration there) so I’ve been known to write wearing a bobble hat, woolly socks and UGG boots, and two jumpers.
Now you know what goes on in the glamourous world of Trish the Writer I will leave you with a delightful image of me – the best butty maker in the world who lives in the big old house, shuffling about in layers of knitted garments, stuffing herself with biscuits while she Hoovers the dog. But despite all this (a numb bum and frostbite) I still think I have the best job in the world ♥
Sassy Brit: Thanks!!!! I wish we really did have this delightful image of you, lol
Patricia Dixon was born in Manchester where she still lives with her husband. They have two grown up children and one grandson, plus the company of a lazy bulldog.
Ignoring her high school reports and possibly sound advice from teachers, Patricia shunned the world of academia and instead, stubbornly pursued a career in fashion. Once the sparkle of London life wore off she returned north and embarked on a new adventure, that of motherhood.
Now, almost thirty years later she has acquiesced to the wise words of her elders and turned her hand to writing. Patricia has written five novels set in the Loire and then, in complete contrast, a much darker story of psychological suspense.
She is currently writing her next book, a murderous tale set in the sixties and if she’s not at her desk Patricia loves to read historical fiction or attempts recipes that look great on television but not necessarily her plate. And when the penny jar is full she cashes in her coins and heads to France, the lure of red wine and escapism equalled only by the pursuance of her dream job, writing for a living.