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Page last updated at 16:12 GMT, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 17:12 UK
Biography: Winterton

By Simon Scarrow
Blogging Norfolk contributor

Made In England

One of the chief difficulties of writing is getting started on a new project.

With all the distractions of life in a home shared with two lively boys and numerous pets, some days it is almost impossible to find an undisturbed moment to work.

I am a terrible prevaricator and will find almost any excuse to avoid sitting down in front of the computer.

That is why I thank my lucky stars that there is such a place as Winterton-on-Sea.

For some years now, I have been hiring a cottage in Winterton where I go to begin writing the latest novel.

It is a small cottage on the street that runs through the village before crossing the dunes to the beach. The owner, a lovely older lady, lives next door and the small garden is beautifully tended.

Having stocked-up with food and coins for the meter, my routine is fairly strict. I rise at about nine in the morning, have breakfast and then sit down to write 2000 words.

When that is done I go for a walk along the beach for an hour, return, eat lunch, write another 2000 words, go for another walk before dinner, and then write another 2000 words before going to bed about two in the morning.

Over the week I manage to get a quarter of the way into a novel and can continue happily with it once I return home.

The strange thing is, that I always return from this intensive period of writing feeling refreshed and deliriously happy.

Partly because I have produced a good word count, but mostly because of the magic of Winterton.

I could not think of a more perfect writer's retreat.

In early spring the village is quiet and on a good day it is warm and breezy down on the beach. Sometimes I have the place much to myself as I stroll down towards Hembsy, returning by way of the dune paths.

Like many beaches in Norfolk, the sand is fine and soft and when the wind is strong it whips up a faint haze around the figures of people and dogs walking along the beach.

There is something in the air at Winterton that refreshes the spirit, excites the senses and calms the mind.

Quite often I stop for a hot drink in the small café at the edge of the beach and think through some of the issues relating to the current book. Then, I return almost willingly to the computer to continue my work.

Although I have travelled widely and had the chance to sit and write in some fairly exotic settings, nothing is quite as wonderful as the experience of working in Winterton.

One of my dreams is that some day I will become successful enough to be able to buy a property there. Maybe large enough to host some writing workshops, where the magic of the place will inspire others as much as it has me.

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