THE EDIT WITH SOPHIE ANDERSON
28th November 2022 5 minutes
With two successfully published novels, author Sophie Anderson, takes us through her daily routine, from an energising morning run to her evening skincare ritual.
We discover what wellness means to Sophie.
AMLY: As an author, can you talk us through your typical day?
Sophie: My typical day starts with dropping my kids at the school bus followed by a run with the dogs. We are lucky enough to live in the beautiful Sussex countryside so I either run around the reservoir or in the woods and whilst I run I listen to a novel on Audible. I try to get to my desk by 9. I write in what used to be a cupboard off my bedroom, it is tiny but cosy and sanctuary-like and has a window with a view to the Downs. The kitten and both dogs usually follow me in there and we all hole up for the morning. I leave my phone outside so I can’t be distracted and I try to write in short sharp bursts until lunch. Then in the afternoon I either edit what I have written or do some research reading before I have to go and pick the kids up from school. If I have a deadline I sometimes snatch a few more hours in the evening. It often proves to be the most fruitful time of the day, when the practical side of my brain is too exhausted to function and so the creative side pushes on through!
AMLY: Do you ever get writer's block? If you do, what do you do to overcome this?
Sophie: I do get writers block and I definitely have some days when the words just don’t flow. I have two different approaches to this, either I go for a walk up on a hill with big expansive views and talk to myself while I try to figure it all out, or I write stream of consciousness style with no attempt to further my story. I’m just getting the words down on the page. Most of the time it is nonsensical drivel but just occasionally there is a spark of something good! I sometimes do this first thing in the morning as well. I keep a note pad next to my bed and force myself to write before doing anything else. When you first wake up your mind is still full of the mad creativity that colours your dreams and it is great to harness this.
AMLY: Can you tell us a little more about your books - your inspiration and what encouraged you to become a writer?
Sophie: I have always wanted to write. I know every author says this and I guess if you hadn’t always had a burning desire to write a novel you probably wouldn’t see it through to the end. I attempted to write various short stories and novels over the years but never actually finished one. Then when my fourth child was born I decided to take some time off work and give it a go. So I enrolled on a Creative Writing Course in Brighton on which we were encouraged to start writing a novel. We had to read our work out loud to the class from week one and whilst this was mildly terrifying it made you bring your best self and writing to the class. The course finished years ago but our group still meets, which has been an amazing support as it can be a pretty lonely business.
I write emotional stories about families and their secrets; grief, love and friendship and everything that comes in between. My first novel The Butterfly Garden is about a mother who blames her son for the death of her daughter. I was partly inspired by Madeleine McCann who disappeared just days after my first child was born. I watched the horrendous story play out with my new born baby in my arms and like so many others I have been haunted by it ever since. My second novel The Sapphire Cove is also about a family torn apart by secrets. Two estranged sisters who have grown up on opposite sides of the world and are reunited when one is dying and in need of a transplant. I was inspired by a friend’s extraordinary story to write this. I am currently working on my third novel which is quite different to the first two in that it is historical, set during World War Two at the Women’s Internment Camp in the Isle of Man. The inspiration for this came from my grandmother who lived on the island and worked at the camps during the war. There is obviously much more research involved in writing this one which I am really enjoying.
AMLY: What does wellbeing mean to you?
Sophie: Well-being to me means both mental and physical health. I run and swim and do yoga and try to eat healthily on the whole. But I also have a compulsive chocolate habit and definitely drink too much wine. I think it is all about balance and what makes you feel good. I have taken up cold swimming in the last year and I know there are all sorts of physical health benefits to it but it is the mental benefits which have got me hooked. The high you feel after getting out, and the sense of achievement that comes from forcing yourself into that freezing water. All aspects of looking after yourself, be it your skin, your body or your mind contribute to this sense of well-being and I have come to appreciate that and am making more of a conscious effort to maintain it with every year that goes by. I genuinely think I feel a lot better both physically and mentally in my forties than I did for most of my overindulgent twenties and child-bearing thirties!
AMLY: How do you unwind, and nourish your mind and body, after a day of writing?
Sophie: I often have a bath at the end of the day and read or listen to a book and perform my AMLY facial routine. I have always been a bit lazy about looking after my skin, I would go through phases of using one product or another but rarely sticking to it once the bottle had finished. However since discovering Amly, I really have become a stickler for my nightly ritual. There is something wonderfully indulgent and yet calming about it. My favourite product is the Deep Reveal Cleansing balm which I use religiously and should have on repeat order. I also use the Eye Care Floral Water Creme and the Beauty Sleep Face Mist followed by the Sleep Tight Face Balm. I love the facial oils too and always have a bottle of Daylight or Meadow Dew in my handbag, along with Radiance Boost and put them on throughout the day for a little pick me up. I just love the smell of every single Amly product and would be slathered in them all day long if possible!
To Follow Sophie's Journey