I met Lisa Heidke in 2008 at a writers’ workshop, just before we both got published for the first time, back when we were dewy and innocent. She’s got a wicked sense of humour, a shoe collection I would covet if I had smaller feet, and a serious dose of magic happening because she’s just published her fifth book: It Started With A Kiss (Allen & Unwin). Lisa’s stories are warm and funny and real. You can tell that by looking at them:
Or, you can FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF! Because if you are an Australian Resident, and you leave a comment, you’ll go in the running to win a copy of It Started With A Kiss. (Competition closes at midnight on Friday the 13th of February – just to make things spooky – and we’ll announce it within 7 days).Okay, enough from me. Over to Lisa. Where does the magic happen for you?
Once upon a time, I worked on a huge and heavy main frame computer that sat on my desk in the study – and that’s where I stayed. It certainly wasn’t portable, so every day (I use the term ‘every day’ loosely!) I would stare at the computer, at the wall or wistfully out the window, dreaming up ways to escape!
These days, I have a snazzy 15cm mac and drag it around with me, whether we’re chasing the sun in the winter, seeking shade in the summer or escaping to the local library in school holidays and hiding from my children (14, 17 and 19). I love that I can write anywhere now. I don’t have to be ‘in the office’.
Years ago, I would have had a fit about not working at the same time, in the same place, every day. I was very disciplined, but also very rigid. As the children got older, I realised that if I wanted to get any writing done at all, I had to be flexible. If that meant writing in bed at 10pm or in the car during soccer practise, that’s what I did.
I think if these walls could talk, they’d shout ‘What a crock! Yes, she used to be disciplined but now she’s a procrastinator and does what she can to avoid actually sitting down and writing.’ The walls speak the truth.
I am not a person who requires anything special to get started, except perhaps engaging my brain and focussing, but I don’t ‘need’ to drink coffee or coke. I don’t listen to music when I write but I don’t need complete silence either. Having said that, I hate interruptions, so I try to write when the kids are at school or out and I also try to disconnect from social media and my phone. (Easier said than done – which is why writing in a library is good every now and then. It gets me back in the saddle –sitting for 5/6 hours just WRITING!
When it comes to editing and reading over first/second and tenth drafts, I like to work on paper with post it notes. Ripping through 100 post it notes of a multitude of colours with scribble all over them makes me feel like I am achieving something – if only in my own mind.
When I am feeling less than inspired, I’ll read an author I particularly like or a craft book like Stephen King’s On Writing. I find that’s helpful in getting me back on track. I’ll also chat with my cat, Zac. He doesn’t say a lot, but when he does, it’s always profound.
Lastly, three things I would save from my office disregarding phone and computer? Definitely Zac and my kids’ drawings which hang on the walls from when they were little, and maybe press clippings I have collected over the years (if I could find them).
Thank you Lisa! Good luck, you guys.