Where do you write? When do you write? Why are these always the most interesting questions to ask of a writer? Do you have a room of your own, as Virginia Woolf put it? I don’t. I’d love one. I write best on trains, so my ideal room would be a converted carriage or a shed made out to look like a train. Perhaps with some film of rolling countryside outside. And on a track to make the noises. OK, maybe I’m taking it too far.

But seriously, I’m typing this at the dining room table with a pile of folders and notebooks to one side. I don’t have anywhere to store them in order and, as much as I like to create in disarray, this way leads to disaster. Just one lost page, a notebook ripped by sticky little fingers, one bent USB stick… Forget a room, I’d kill for just a desk.

Making time to write is one of the most common blog posts on those writing top tips sites. Making time, giving it the same attention and care as you give your family and paid work. My time is usually in the evenings after I’m home from work with my daughter in bed. But I worry. I’m tired, you see. I make myself sit down, there’s no shirking, but the quality is an issue.

As I have a serious writing project now with deadlines and the like, this is something I’m suddenly concerned about. It’s one thing churning out stuff for competitions, and taking a long time to write a novel of my own but now I’m part of a team. I don’t want to let anyone down. What if I’m not good enough?

I think the doubt is normal. And the pieces I’ve submitted for the application process were all written during periods of tiredness and stress. They passed. And yet.

I need to be creative. A routine is good but I think once in a while I need to do something different to make sure I’m writing as fresh as possible. A break from work in the middle of the day? Me, a coffee, an art gallery and a notebook? It’s possible. Can I engineer meetings in towns where I need to take the train?

I’d be interested in what you think. How do you get round this?

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