We walked up the beautiful Torrent Walk near Dolgellau in Snowdonia in the evening light, surrounded by a positive sea of wild garlic in amongst the bluebells.
My mind began to let go of the last Work in Progress, and refused to start thinking of the next. Then we sat at midnight, under the stars, listening to last-night-of-the-holidays revelry round campfires (interspersed with slightly tipsy bouts of ‘Ar hyd y nos’ and ‘Jerusalem’).
And the thought struck me that I had been so involved in what I was doing, I nearly missed this. And despite the flat mattress, I came home relaxed and with ideas flooding in.
So my resolution is to still work hard, but to take time to do the garden, do walks that aren’t just keep-the-dog-happy routine trudges, and sometimes take the time and go off exploring. I always feel that if I’m not hammering away at the keyboard, or blogging or tweaking, or plotting or researching, I’m not really writing at all. I forget that the brain needs brain-food too, and that sometimes that’s reading and sometimes it’s just doing nothing at all. Which, of course, is usually when serious inspiration strikes.
The brain never really stops. I won’t get rusty or (writer’s constant horror) forgot everything I’ve learnt over the years. Writing is a process. And the scary bit is that some of that process remains unknown. It just happens.
Except, of course, it doesn’t. It’s a whole load of hard work to turn that inkling of an idea, and that morass of a first draft into something that might just end up as a book. I still look back at the bits that finally work and ask myself in astonishment ‘did I do that?’ How? When? What on earth made me think of that? And then, when it’s all over, you have to start right from the beginning again. With the inkling. And the morass. And that traitorous little thought of ‘maybe last time was a fluke’. Maybe this time ….
Funnily enough, taking time off to chill and let the world creep in helps keep the faith. Well, that’s my excuse, anyhow. And I’m sticking with it.