Writers In Their Garrets

At the risk of becoming a doom-and-gloom monger with my postings about how tough it is to be a writer, try this link for truth:


The Poor Poet by Carl Spitzweg

Unfortunately, and without exaggerating, my living circumstances are not that dissimilar to the poor poet in Carl Spitzweg’s atmospheric painting. I live in a roof space flat which has sloping walls, above a petrol-station shop and next to the flight path for an airport. It’s the noisiest and most dangerous place that I’ve lived in. To be able to concentrate on my creative writing, I wear earbuds all of the time that pipe music from 750 albums saved to the hard drive of my laptop. Listening to music, where I know what sound is coming next, is preferable to being startled by the bangs and crashes from the garage next door. I’m perverse enough to be able to do this …

I haven’t needed to resort to an umbrella to keep out the rain, but I do wear enough clothing in winter to resemble the Michelin Man, even in bed when the temperature descends to 39F/4C. Rats running in the wall was a low point….


Carl Spizweg was a romanticist painter, who came from a wealthy background. His paintings are charming, and lure the viewer into a moment in time making you wonder what happens next. I’m sure that we all feel for the precarious position of the reader in the painting ‘The Bookworm’ below, who looks to be too engrossed in what he’s reading for his own safety.

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