Career Focus - The World of Writing

Novelist - Polly Williams

As a journalist Polly Williams has written for many publications including In Style, You, The Sunday Times, The Independent and Dazed and Confused. Her first novel The Rise and Fall of a Yummy Mummy is out now. Read how Polly has combined life as a Mum and Author.

The Interview

Name - Polly Williams

Location - Queens Park, North West London - nappy valley

Family - Oscar, an energetic two and a half year old


What is your background?...How did you get into writing?

I've been a journalist for years - writing for glossy magazines and newspapers - and always planned to write a novel, but, like most people, kept putting it off. When my son was born I thought, 'It's now or never'.

What was the inspiration for The Rise and Fall of A Yummy Mummy?

Waking up one morning, after another interrupted night's sleep, and realising I'd forgotten the point of a bikini wax! In grander terms, the chasm between the public image of motherhood and the private reality.

Do you write at home? If so where?

I have a little box room office upstairs that I love. It's pretty basic - chair, desk, computer - and, in theory, it' s a toddler free-zone although he often manages to storm the barricades and flick off my hard drive at the worst possible moment.

How do you manage to be disciplined about writing a certain number of words a that how you work?

I try to clear about 1000 fictional words a day, but don't always manage it because journalism deadlines interrupt. I am, however, pretty disciplined as I can only write when Oscar is at nursery. As childcare is so expensive I feel compelled to use every minute as profitably as possible, much as I'd rather be shoe shopping.

How does being a writer fit around having a young child?

A darn sight easier than a proper office-based job, which I did when he was very little. My situation is a privileged one. Although I still see less of him than I'd like.

Financially, how have you managed whilst writing?

I was lucky enough to get a great deal and sell the book in America too, so it's much more profitable 'at the moment' for me to be writing fiction than doing anything else. But I'm aware that things can and do change, so I try to keep as many balls in the air as possible.

Has it been hard getting published? How have you gone about it?

For me, no. The hardest thing was writing the book, especially the first third which I wrote while working at In Style magazine, on my days off, lunch hour, weekends etc. A good agent took me on and sold the manuscript for me. A good agent is essential.

What is the best bit of business advice you have been given?

Get a decent accountant.

Do you have any words of wisdom for Mums who would like to become writers?

What are you waiting for? Children do not have to impede creativity, they can fuel it. Think big. Get writing. Good luck!


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