Every Writer Needs an Office

So. I’m writing a book. Allegedly. Dear glory I hope Kristina from UQP is not reading this…but I promise it will one day sit alongside those lovely UQP spines above! It’s been a *&%@#$ of a year and I cannot wait to see the back of 2017, but amidst the darkness and the terrible, overwhelming grief for my favourite aunt and my beautiful Dan, there is always light. The girls and I, along with our extended family, are moving through our grief as best we can…sometimes stumbling, but mostly being held high by so many beautiful family and friends, old and new.

Brilliant memoir even if you are not renovating or a young widow! Buy it here.

My dad and brother did what I suspect many men do in times of great trauma, they whipped up a storm of physical activity and built in my garage (“Security Megan! You need SECURITY”) and magicked up a study for me, out of a small and disused space off the side of my bedroom. I didn’t even know there was room for a study there. One day I got home from #grieftownpaperwork and I had no bedroom wall. NONE. Having just securely hammered us in with a garage with many locks, dad and Jem knocked out an entire wall in my bedroom, and announced they’d be back next weekend to ‘put it back in a different spot’. I could wave at my neighbours from my bed…seriously. For a week. It was indoor/outdoor living at its best. Enormous thanks to my brother, Jeremy/Jem who very happily for us did an entire building apprenticeship before entirely changing careers and gaining a Masters in Finance…handy chap.

Workers…with ‘helpers’

Jem started the project and prioritised me, despite working full time in a really demanding job and dealing with the loss of yet another brother – Dan and he were always brothers, never brothers in law- and to lose two brothers in five years is unthinkable. Thanks ALWAYS to my dad, who is the uberdad and now the main man in the lives of my girls. Dad has lost two sons (again, Dan was a son, not a son in law) and he continues to be a tower of strength for us all. Simply, he is one of the most inspirational men I know. And Scott? Dear Scott, of Centenary Carpentry. You just stepped in with hammers and *things*, offered so much support (literally and figuratively – beams are important!), and I even let you hug me, several times. Scott and Kristy have always been there and nothing is ever, ever too much trouble for them despite the busyness of their own lives. And Joel…I’ve known you since you were born, and you were one of Dan’s best mates…and you can paint…I love you for more than your mad painting skills…but they are handy at times of need :). 

So now the study is done…and I have a space that is all my own. It’s made my bedroom/downstairs of house feel different to when Dan was alive, and to be honest, this is just great because I needed to make our bedroom my bedroom, so that I would not feel ill every single time I walked in. This space is now my sanctuary and I’ve added more pink than is sensible, and I don’t even like pink. I’m trying to find the small mercies in all of this, and surely one of those small mercies is that I can now have a floral bedspread and a pink study?

When I finish procasti-writing blog posts, stop making nice folders on my computer for chapters I’m yet to actually write, and stop pretending I’ll write ‘once I fully know how to use Scrivener’, I’m totally going to write this book. It is now going to have a later publication date than I had hoped, but that’s how it goes. Dan was so darned chuffed about this book, and I can’t wait to pour every ounce of my teacher librarian brain into it.

Thank you boys for my study. And yes I did organise the bookshelves before the project was finished #librariantendancies.

Too many photos to follow…couldn’t pick two. 

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  1. Louise

    Congrats on your completed sanctuary. It looks beautiful and it represents the love you are surrounded by from especially your family and dear friends. Even if you just sit for awhile in the special place their love and strength will give you inspiration when you (finally) write. Enjoy ????

  2. Julie Grasso

    So wonderful. Now write your heart out. I use dragon dictation to help me get those words down. I sound like a nutty professor but I suspect you would enjoy that. Always in my prayers. Jules

    • Megan Daley

      Oh! Several kids at school use Dragon!!! I am totally going to try out theirs!

  3. Kat Apel

    Thank you for opening your heart and sharing

  4. Kat Apel

    Ha! I so did not know about that bedroom wall thingy. That’s soooo funny! (I did wonder how you just had that little space there – and what it had been doing prior. :P) Also, I like your plant/rock things. We tend to collect rocks (and shells) on holidays, and they carry so many memories. Can’t throw them out – but haven’t really had a ‘use’ for them. Perhaps you have given me an idea… And Scrivener!! You got it! Will want to know more about that!!!

    You can do this, Megan. Of course Dan would be chuffed/proud/excited. You’re the one!

  5. nikki

    What is the word for sadbeautiful? A word that means ‘light though the cracks’? They have done an amazing job building your cocoon and I really hope you will get it nice’n’messy soon with your writing brilliance! Far too neat’n’tidy in those pics 😉

  6. Pamela Jackson

    So glad to see life is rising from the ashes of despair and that you and the girls are surrounded by such love and caring practical support. Hope you’ll spend many productive hours in your ‘sanctuary’. Best wishes always, Pamela

  7. Pam (Guilfoyle)

    So much in common – passionate about early childhood; nuts about reading – it can be the refuge of a life; every girl needs ‘ a room of one’s own’;adore libraries and most librarians; love colour, texture too ; and seeing the children’s faces light up when teaching, as I reached for ‘The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe’ or ‘Stig of the Dump’.
    Wonder of language is everywhere and it makes ‘only connect’ deeply meaningful. ‘
    ‘Connect’ now has a different meaning now to that of E.M.Forster’s; more universal and ever- present. Keep connecting, we need you.


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I’m Megan

I’m passionate about children’s literature and am the author of ‘Raising Readers’ and ‘the Beehive’ and editor of ‘Teacher, Teacher’.
I am also a multiple award-winning teacher librarian, speaker, podcaster, widow, beekeeper, literary judge and wearer of bright colours.

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