So, after giving myself some time off to do things other than write – and not feel guilty about it – by this morning I had well and truly run out of excuses. The party was over, the house was (sort of) tidy, the washing done and the diary empty. I’d even given fair warning to my other half – who happened to have today, of all days, off work – that this was a writing day and I was not to be disturbed. All that was left to do was actually sit at the desk, find the work-in-progress file and continue revising.
And I have to say it was remarkably easy. Well, easier than I’d anticipated. Using the scene cards I’d already completed, working on one scene at a time made the transition back into writing much smoother. Before long I was back on the farm where my novel is set, watching the characters interacting, seeing inside their heads and hanging out with them. Hours passed while I escaped into the narrative and my story once again came to life. It’s like meeting up with an old friend after a long absence – you fall back into the same patterns of conversation, the years fall away and you leave wondering why on earth you left it so long. Like any old friend the writing is always there when you come back. Sometimes a break works wonders: you get away, clear your head, do some of the other things on your to-do list and when you’re ready the page will be there, waiting.
It’s also like riding a horse. You spend hours, weeks, years learning how to sit, where to put your legs, how to hold the reins, when to put pressure on and when to take it off. And most importantly how to overcome your fear. When you take a break from riding for a while it doesn’t take you long to remember the techniques but it’s the fear that holds you back, stops you from getting on that horse and just enjoy being there. If you can let go of that fear, push through the resistance it creates, you find that you’re right there where you left off – the horse is still the horse, he still knows what to do, he’s just waiting for you to get over yourself and be there with him.
So it is with the page. When you push through the fear and the invisible wall you’ve built up between yourself and the words, everything is just as you left it, waiting for your return. All it takes is a little patience – with yourself – and a willingness to escape back into your story. Before you know it your fingers are flying, you’re back in the place you’ve created and the time you’ve been gone disappears.
The novel I’m writing is set on a farm, loosely based on the property where I agist my horses. When I was there last week I happened to have the camera with me and managed to capture these shots at sunset.