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A day in the life of a London writer

A day in the life of a london writer

Today we get to see what a day in the life of a writer looks like, courtesy of Jenny Landreth. Aside from being a writer, Jenny is also a script editor and is currently working on a new animated series for children’s television. 

Jenny’s latest book, Swimming London, is out now and I’ve got a free copy to give away. Just leave a comment by Tuesday 17th June and a winner will be chosen at random. Happy London swimming!

A day in the life of a London writer

My normal day starts with getting a child off to school, and our dog walked round Clapham Common. I often meet John, a writer friend, with his dog and we compete about how busy we are. (He always wins, in quality and quantity.) John rescued my dog once when it fell in the pond and I just stood there flapping my arms screeching ‘he can’t swim! He can’t swim!’ which is kind of ironic, given that the thing I most write about is swimming. I’m grateful to John that he saved my dog’s life, and that he only mocks me a bit for it. ‘Oooh, I’m such a feminist, I need a man to save my dog’.

Coffee fuels my morning, and I work at home from nine with a full cup at my side, doing whatever scripts or writing pieces need my attention that day. I am never ever distracted by Twitter. Never. My best days are those when I don’t have meetings in town, so I can make my own schedule. Then I head to the pool around 12ish, and call it research. I live ten minutes from Tooting Bec Lido, the country’s largest outdoor pool and my spiritual home (unheated). The days I get to swim here are the best of best days.

The water temperature dictates how long I’ll swim for. On a sunny June day, when it’s up to around 20 degrees, I can loll around a bit, take a few lengths slowly and enjoy the feeling of sun on wet skin. Afterwards if I’ve got time, I’ll get a coffee from the fantastic new café and hang out with other swimmers, talking about – well, nothing and everything. Swimming mostly. If I didn’t have them to talk to, I’m sure I’d end up being one of those people who chases the postie just to have a conversation with an adult. This is my community, and I treasure it. Stripped down to our cossies and swim hats, we are all equal. Luck is a theme here, and I am very lucky.

Swimming in cold water makes me disproportionately hungry, and I go home for a massive lunch and a work-filled afternoon. Definitely not on Twitter. Definitely no napping. I tend to stop when my daughter gets home, try and hang out with her with varying degrees of success now the teen years loom. Then I cook supper, we eat and watch rubbish TV. I admit, I might just glance at Twitter at this point. On a really good day I go to the theatre or cinema with my old man. Then a late evening walk round the block for the dog, and it all rolls round again.

PS: I am aware that dogs can swim. But it didn’t LOOK like he could. Before you start on me.

Jenny Landreth

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