AT MY DESK: Rachel Amphlett
I have to admit, I laughed when AusRom Today asked me to take part in this feature.
You see, I must have one of the more unusual writing spaces an author could have. Here’s a picture of it:
Yes, a train. I’ve found my most productive time of the day to write is when I’m commuting to work in the morning.
I have a full-time job (and a life!) so I have to fit my writing around it. I used to be all over the place with my writing, having no fixed schedule or anything like that – it was very hit and miss.
Twelve months ago, I read an article by blogger Jeff Goins that changed my attitude towards my writing. In the article, he stated that it’s all very well to have goals, but the only way you’re going to meet your goals is to form a habit.
So, every morning at about 7.00am, I wedge myself into a seat in a corner of a train carriage and I write for the 40 minute journey it takes to get into Brisbane. I set myself a small target of 200 words, knowing that on a good day I’ll have over 1,000 words, depending on how the creative juices are flowing.
It’s not always possible to write on the way home – often it’s noisier and more crowded, but if there’s a particular scene screaming out to be written, I’ll put in my headphones and tune out the world around me.
When I was writing Before Nightfall between October and December last year, this is how I worked. When I get home, I back up my work, then print it out.
The next day, I do it all again. Over, and over, and over, until the first draft is finished.
Back at home, to the left of the computer screen, stuck to the wall, are a few quotes and cartoons that keep me going when I’m having one of those days where I feel the words aren’t flowing.
I have my trusty copy of Save the Cat! on the desk to the right of our filing trays, which, as well as being a great inspiration, helps to pin down my ‘To Do’ pile!
I’ve got two lever arch files for my writing projects. The first contains one main project and has sections for the draft manuscript, research notes, character notes and plot layouts.
The second folder is where I keep all my other writing ideas – rough plot lines, scenes I’ve written that I want to develop, and new ideas for novels. For some of these, I’ve started collecting newspaper articles to give me a head start on the research too.
I usually get up early on a Saturday and spend 3-4 hours catching up and reading blog posts I’ve flagged during the week, and responding to emails.
I don’t often write at weekends though. I find that by treating my writing like a job during the week works best for me, and by resting at the weekend, I give myself time to recharge my batteries.
Maybe if I was a full-time writer, I’d have a different routine, but the current one works well for me.
About the Author:
Rachel Amphlett previously worked in the UK publishing industry, played lead guitar in rock bands, and worked with BBC radio before relocating from England to Australia in 2005. After returning to writing, Rachel enjoyed publication success both in Australia and the United Kingdom with her short stories, before her first thriller White Gold was released in 2011. Rachel’s Dan Taylor thrillers White Gold and Under Fireand latest standalone thriller, Before Nightfall are all Amazon bestsellers.
“If they move you, they will kill you.”
Kate Foster is quick to forget the advice from a pre-deployment hostage survival course once she’s catapulted into a new job in Eastern Europe, despite the good-looking instructor. But a simple day’s task in Istanbul six months later goes horribly wrong.
Trapped and alone, her only hope of survival is the man who trained her – ex-FBI Hostage Rescue Specialist, Finn Scott.
For Finn, it’s his worst nightmare. Kate was the one person he almost let into his heart. Haunted by memories of a failed hostage rescue, he is thrust into a situation beyond his control. Now, against a sinister adversary whose ambitions will split apart Eastern Europe, Finn must overcome his demons to prevent an international catastrophe, and avoid losing Kate forever.