1) Puss in Books
When I have time to sit and read for a few hours, what helps me to focus (so I’m not tempted to spend my life doing housework) is my cat, Rupert AKA Trumpet – which is what my father nicknamed him because he couldn’t remember the cat’s actual name.Rupert is super-cuddly, super-fluffy and super-purry. Whether I’m reading on my Kindle or flicking the pages of a paperback, it helps to have him cuddled up with me. Except when he decides to rest his head on my book! Cats and reading go hand in hand!
2) Stash of Stationery
It’s not often I suffer from writer’s block and I put this down to switching projects as soon as I feel even the slightest twinge of block coming on. If switching projects doesn’t help then switching medium often does.
Writing longhand can help. You can never have too many notepads and pens. I love this funky set I found in the supermarket. The notebook doubles as a pencil case. How cool is that!
I love stationery! If you do too, CLICK HERE for even more!
3) Bookish Buddies
The best cure for a reading slump is a bookish friend. Lucy V Hay sent me The Handmaid’s Tale by Margret Atwood because she knew I would like it. I love and hate that book in equal amounts! I’m totally engrossed in the TV series and my relationship with The Handmaid’s Tale can be summed up as, ‘It’s complicated.’
Anyway, I paid this kindness forward and sent the book to Jorja, who I met in TBC. (If you don’t know of this club, find it on fb, it’s the friendliest and most fun online book club). Lovely Jorja then sent me a gorgeous thank you card and I’ve put it pride of place on my bookcase. Next time you’re in a slump, go hang out in the book club.
4) Two Books are Better Than One
I usually read two books at a time. The reason I do this is because I’m a slow reader, often having to read in short bursts because I never know what I might be doing from one day to the next. It helps in two ways: 1) I chose two very different stories and so if one doesn’t suit my mood that day, I can read the other. 2) I keep a paperback in my bag and the kindle in my bedside drawer. I know it seems like I should do this the other way around to save space but I often forget to charge my kindle, keeping it near a power source works better for me.
5) Quest for Comfort
A good space is something I need. I’ve moved around the house several times on a quest to feel comfy. Desk on the landing, desk in the bedroom, desk in the guest room. My desk was once inside a built-in wardrobe! Nothing was working.
It seems my inner muse wanted to write in the living-room. In the past, this would have been problematic because my kids were curious and grabby little tots. They’re still curious but less grabby, and now they’re older they know not to touch mummy’s work stuff… well, if they do they put it back exactly as it was.
That’s all folks! Those are the five things that help me read/write.
What are yours? Do you share some of mine? Tweet me or find me on Facebook. I’m usually hanging out on social media chatting about books and the art of storytelling.
BIO: Emma Pullar is a writer and book reviewer. Her picture book, Curly from Shirley, went to number four on the bestseller list and was named best opening lines by NZ Post. As well as picture books, Emma writes speculative fiction. You can read her SJV Award shortlisted horror story, London’s Crawling, in the Dark Minds charity collection and her debut novel published by Bloodhound Books is due for release in autumn 2017. Follow Emma on Twitter, HERE.