Other People's Words

Jan 14, 2009

Paul Morgan, author of Turner’s Paintbox, The Pelagius Book and The Art of Richard Hughes says:

I have no writing room. In fact, I rarely work in the house. I feel too vulnerable to distraction there, knowing that at any moment the phone could ring or someone might knock on the door and my ‘zone’ would evaporate. Porlocked. And that’s without the cat trying to sneak onto my keyboard every ten minutes (I think she likes the warmth on her backside).

Most of my real writing is done ‘on the run,’ while I’m walking, sitting on a tram, or in that floating state-of-mind between wakefulness and sleep. I scribble ideas and fragments down in a notebook which is always with me: a cheap newsagent’s pad, not one of those precious Moleskines, ‘as used by Hemingway and Chatwin’. (Great writers, but let’s face it, a pair of self-conscious poseurs.) These notes are typed up on my MacBook every week or so, when I have ‘writing days’ off from my other job. (I’m Deputy Director of SANE Australia, the mental health charity.)

Sometimes I do this in the garden, away from distractions, or go away to a friend’s beach house. I always listen to music when writing, usually fast jazz or funk music to get my neurones firing. The Necks always do the job.

This writing rhythm seems to suit me, although I sometimes daydream of a soundproof hideaway high above the city, like Proust’s cork-lined room at 102 Boulevard Haussmann. I work best of all in a faraway hotel bedroom: undistracting, comfortable, silent, air-conditioned and safe from any disturbance. I need a residency at the Westin on Martin Place. What books I would write there. I promise.

See Paul’s website.

See also Damon Young and Caroline Petit. If you’re a writer, feel free to email me something.

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2 thoughts on “Literary Space – Paul Morgan

  1. LiteraryMinded

    They look pretty nice. I haven’t gotten one yet because as far as notebooks go, the pricetag just seems exhorbitant. I like spiral-bounds too.

    My next thing is to get one of those mini-laptops (also called a ‘notebook’). I imagine just chucking it in my handbag and storing my thoughts anwhere. I could also blog from anywhere with wi-fi (is that the correct term?) 🙂 I’m saving… but I also need a new bike 🙁

  2. Damon

    Fascinating. Thanks Paul and Angela.

    As for the ‘precious’ Moleskines: I try to ignore the advertising and hype (like Macs). They’re just fine notebooks.

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