Philip Pullman: ‘My Writing Day’

I came across this article written by the wonderful author, Philip Pullman. I found it very entertaining. It’s mostly about his writing space. Interesting. What’s yours like?

Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd

Philip Pullman interview lunaslonline

Philip Pullman: ‘I use coloured pencils to show which key I’m writing in – D minor, at the moment’

The author on the importance of desk height, watching birds and Myriorama cards

I get to my desk (in a very small room at the top of the house) at about 10, and fiddle about with the height of the desk and the chair until I’m comfortable. I have a desk that I can raise or lower according to the state of my aching back. Sometimes I stand at it, and sometimes I have it high up to write at, and sometimes a bit lower to type.

The desk is covered by an ancient kilim, because it looks nice, but that’s not a good surface to write on, so I have one of those green safety cutting mats to support the paper I use, which is A4 narrow lined, with two holes. I love the shape of the A paper sizes. It’s the only one of Andrea Palladios recommended architectural shapes (the ratios of room length to width, and so on) that contains an irrational number, in this case the ratio of one to the square root of two. Very handy for illustrating Pythagoras’s famous theorem, in fact.

Nearby is a basket full of coloured pencils, including some of the best of all, the Berol Karisma range, now unfortunately discontinued. For each book I write, the paper is authorised for writing on by means of a coloured stripe along the top edge. I fan the sheets out and colour a stack at a time. The current book is a warm blend of Karisma Pumpkin Orange and Faber Castell Venetian Red. I sometimes think I should make it clear which key I’m writing a particular passage in – D minor, at the moment – but that would be silly, unlike colouring the pages, which makes perfect sense.

To read on, click here



One thought on “Philip Pullman: ‘My Writing Day’

  1. How interesting was THAT! So many details. All that structure would drive me insane but it works for him and that’s all that matters for any of us. I used cheap Crayola water color pencils. I have an outrageously expensive set of pencils, a gift, and I’ve tried so many others but I love Crayola best. They give me exactly what I want and they are soft and perfect for me. I tried the gazillion dollar ones, I was terrified to mess up the set in the gorgeous box, but I picked one and it was hard and the way I use them, it wouldn’t have worked, so I put the pencil back in the huge box and never used them again. LOL We each find our own way, play our own music, have our own ritual, if one has one, but we all get the job done. Wonderful article. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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