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Where do I edit? Where do you write?

So, I've recently been thinking about how we're affected by the places in which we edit--or, in your case, the places in which you write.

The view from my place in Scotland, September 2018.

I've been writing at the same place for the last fifteen years, and that's my large country home that I not-so-fondly call The Money Pit. While many people envy those with large, rural houses, I honestly am desperate to get rid of mine and have been for quite a few years. It's expensive--at least, it is for me on my own--as well as being cold and isolating at times. So, I only manage to draft my own novels when I am not living here; I wrote the best one while holed up in a budget hotel! While I can edit well from anywhere, I can only ever write when I feel totally chilled out. So, anyway... Lately, I thought I finally had a buyer for the house so, wondering where I'd go next and not wanting to end up homeless, I bought a tiny little holiday home on the coast of Scotland. It is metres from the sea, overlooking Ailsa Craig and the Mull of Kintyre. It's so tiny, it's unbelievable. It totally dispels the myth that the bigger the house, the happier or more fortunate someone is... people always come to my big house and tell me how happy I must be or how lucky I am. Well... hmm.

Another glorious seascape from my living room window.

The small place is so undemanding, so restful. And just so affordable by contrast! I would gladly give away the big one and forego all my equity just to spend the rest of my life in the small one... and it may yet come to that. I can hardly believe the transformation in my spirits, and my mental and physical health when I'm there; I feel so relaxed, I could write a bestseller, I'm sure! The only problem is, I still have this lump of a house to get rid of so can't stay up in Scotland as it's five whole hours away.

The English house--the large, draughty one--is very weather-prone and I learned the risks of leaving it unoccupied some years ago, when I abandoned it in winter and it got flooded by a mains water burst. So, I'm stuck with it for now. I kind of hope all your scripts can transport me away from this place and into somewhere more restful. I can't wait. I would love to hear where you do your best and worst writing. How do locations influence you?

I could never tire of this. You'd imagine it would get boring, but each time I look there's a different sunset, a different sea, a magical light configuration or some odd bird...or a seal, or a dolphin!

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Anna Foley Simmons
Anna Foley Simmons

I grew up in a coastguard cottage on the Irish side of this view. I'd watch the sun rise over Ailsa Craig and the Mull of Kintyre, where you watch it set. Nothing better than writing at the bedroom window stretching your eyes out over this view and just chilling out for the length of time it takes for the P&O ferry to sail in from one side of the horizon and out the other!

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