Judy Prescott Marshall is the self-published author of a non-fiction book, Be Strong Enough, and a trilogy of novels based on the same theme. They follow the life of Julie and Dan Holliday, as they navigate the shoals of a long marriage, and come to safe harbor at last. The last in the series is The Cottage, published today, in which they must face their final problem together. I asked her about where she writes and discovered that she’s lucky enough to have a writing studio of her own.
I am blessed to have my own writing studio. I need quiet when I write. No music or television for me. My space is perfect. It has an office, a living room, a full kitchen, a bathroom, and laundry room. (Oh, hell no, I do not do laundry when I am in my studio.) It is ninety-six feet from the main house. How do I know it is that far? Well, when I broke my foot, I had to hop on one foot from the house to the studio. Thanks to yoga I did it masterfully.
On most days, I write in the big overstuffed chair with a rolling table in front of me. I never liked putting the laptop directly on my lap, thanks to restless leg syndrome. My day starts around four in the morning. I check emails and log onto my social media sites to answer any questions about my writing. Then I go hiking with my husband over on our property out back. A little breakfast and it is off to the studio. I always read the previous chapter I wrote before writing the new one. My go-to snack is raw almonds. My favorite tea is always hot – Paris by Harney Tea – a black tea with vanilla, caramel, and a hint of lemony bergamot. Afternoons, I might treat myself to a few shortbread cookies.
My desk is up against the wall, a trick I learned from James Patterson. Focus on the book, not what is outside. I do not like clutter, so the only thing on my desk is my computer and a file with the character sheets, timeline, and plot points for referencing. Writing requires discipline. I treat my writing like a business and in return, I have built a marvelous fan base.