Roald Dahl’s writing routine involved a shed, a sleeping bag, and cigarettes.
In 1982, Frank Delaney of the BBC visited Roald Dahl at home for a long conversation that meandered from children’s literature to 18th-century furniture and making orange marmalade. During that visit, Dahl gave Delaney a glimpse at his writing routine, which consisted, at the time, of four hours a day spent in a writing shed on his property.
It’s delightful to see: Dahl walks from his cottage to his shed in the garden, where he proceeds to step into a sleeping bag (“that’s right up to my chest; keep the feet warm, the legs warm”), sit in what looks like an absolutely enormous chair, sharpen six pencils (“they always have to be sharpened before I start”), and start working, cigarette in hand.
“In the end, you get something done,” Dahl told Delaney.
The whole interview below is worth watching, and the relevant part starts at about 5:00.
May we all, one day, have the space for the writing shed and enormous chair of our dreams.