I’ve been following Fiona Robyn’s latest novel Thaw as she publishes extracts on her blog here.
For those who haven’t figured it out yet, I called this blog Not Designed to Juggle because for most of my life I’ve been juggling life, art and writing. It’s only over the past few years that I’ve been able to focus on writing and start to be published. I’m interested in how and why other people do it, so I asked Fiona about her writing journey.
Fiona, how did you come to be a writer?
Like you, Diane, I have needed to do a bit of juggling to fit writing into my life. I still make my living as a therapist, and I see clients in the afternoons and evenings which leaves me the mornings free to write. I am fully intending to have a bestseller at some point in my career (!), but until then it feels good to have the space for writing without having to worry about money. I think if we’re serious about being writers, then we have to find a way to make it work.
Have there been any significant event or obstacle along the way that has influenced the direction you’ve taken?
I’ve always been quite determined to write the kind of books I want to write, and I’ve had faith that I’ll find a publisher for them eventually, and so I haven’t changed my direction as a result of anything in the world of publishing. I can’t think of anything significant that’s changed my writing, but everything that happens to me goes ‘into the pot’. My growing commitment to Buddhism has probably had an effect, and my relationships with friends and family, and the privilege of getting to know my clients over the years. It’s like compost – it all goes in and rots down and then the flowers grow.
Anything you’re involved with/thinking about now that’s likely to alter the direction of future writing plans?
I’m trying to take a break before I start my next novel – my new central character April is being patient and know that I’ll start telling her story in September. My writing routine is variable – I don’t write for very long during first draft stage as it’s so painful, but as the book progresses I spend more time on it.
Finally, how do you balance the act of writing, with the everyday?
I would say that my writing IS my everyday – ‘small stones’ come to me when I’m on a train or doing the washing up, and I think about my characters when I’m walking in the garden. The act of writing is a different matter, though – I have to force myself to sit down at my desk or I’d never do any writing at all. I don’t know a single writer that always finds it easy. It takes determination. But I also never forget that I do this because I want to – I write because I love to write.
Many thanks Fiona.
Fiona Robyn is an author and a blogger living in rural Hampshire in the UK with her cats, Silver and Fatty. Her third novel Thaw is out now. Her first two novels The Letters and The Blue Handbag are also published by Snowbooks.