This week I discovered the best hiding place for hide and seek; tucked up and contorted on the window sill, hidden behind the curtains in my children’s bedroom. It took them ages to find me. AGES. And, whilst holding my breath and keeping as still as possible so as not to give the game away (I’m horribly competitive. Even in hide and seek,) I was hit with an unexpected bolt of inspiration.
Outside the window, tucked back from the other plant pots, is a terracotta pot of forgotten soil gone, literally, to grass. The grass itself is the long, thin stemmed variety that needles you in the ankle when you to walk on it. But, lacking attention and water, this grass had dried out, the stem brittle and yellowed, seed head pale brown.
Staring at its sorry blades I pieced together a tricky part of one of my character’s personalities, for my second novel
Because that was what I did next (once I was discovered). I Dug out my shiny new notebook, gained from the Chiltern Open Air Museum, found my lucky pen, and began writing the first tentative plans for novel number two. And how exciting that feels to say. There is no self-doubt at this stage, no panic or worry that anyone won’t like it, just the pure joy of creation as I begin to pluck these people from thin air. Or from blades of dried out grass.
And finally I’ve been able to take my mind off novel number one, away from the anxiety of having it read (another agent asked for the manuscript this week, which is always exciting, and always terrifying) away from the worry that it won’t be liked and, crucially, put those niggling doubts that I won’t be able to write another one firmly to rest.
Let the writing begin. Again.