“Theoretically. Writing one page takes her around three hours, nine tram rides should do it. A book of 200 pages could be written during 1800 tram rides which, considering she takes the tram twice a day, equals two and a half years of work. Or three, if you take into account weekends and some free days. Three years for a novel, that doesn’t sound bad. Theoretically. But she just can’t make it work in practice.
To start working the very second tram doors close and finish when the “Please leave the train” sounds goes off is pure madness. In theory, you can do anything. Write whenever and wherever because if you can’t, it surely is just an excuse… and sometimes it really is. Authors often use their family or work or lack of time as an excuse.
Four out of my five books were written abroad. The first one in my parents’ apartment when they left for the summer. I admire authors who can write in between everyday work, meetings, errands. I could never do this. (…) But creative stays somewhere else are not always a rose garden full of ideas either. They never are for me actually. Working abroad is not only a way to gain some continuous time free of duties and distractions but also a way to make myself actually do something. (…)
I finished my latest book “Taiga Station” in Amsterdam. I started it half a year before that when travelling around Siberia all by myself. You don’t necessarily need a house for authors to be able to write outside your home in peace. But is usually is a great help. Especially, but not only, a financial one. That’s why I am and always will be grateful for these several opportunities I had when I could write in peace somewhere else.”
(excerpt from a publication Umělci bez hranic (“Artists without borders”), written by the Czech author Petra Hůlová)
What about you and borders?