Of course, that’s not to say the wonderful darling has abandoned me completely in the last couple of years, but she has been, shall we say… resting.
Two years ago I wrote a book called The Stars Are Falling. I wrote that book start to finish in ten days. Prep, research, planning, writing, and even the first round of editing.
But then I stopped. It is natural to need a break after such a mammoth task, but for the past two years I haven’t written anything over a couple of thousand words. I have tried. And I have failed.
At first I thought my musie has simply gone away on a well needed holiday and would be back. At the end of year one, I wondered if that holiday was a permanent one.
It wasn’t until earlier this year that I realised what the problem was. Stress. Now, my life is pretty easy, in my mind. I look after my husband, I cook, I clean, I read, I write. I sit at home a lot of the time with nothing more to do than watch the TV and write. Which is how this writing thing got started again: because I was sick of doing the housework and having a spotless house.
So what exactly happened?
I had a guest in my spare room. The first one moved in when I was writing The Stars Are Falling. And I was fine for a bit. Then she moved out, and six months later, my friend moved over from Germany and stayed with me for a while as she got herself sorted. Then over Christmas last year a friend of mine was made homeless, and so stayed with us until he got himself sorted.
The problem wasn’t that there were extra people in my house, it was that they were in my writing space. I recently moved from a three bedroom to a two bedroom house. So my husband lives under the stairs. (Before you consider calling the police on me, he has a desk in there and a chair and a whole bunch of teddies, there are no locks on the door, and he is free to come and go as he pleases. I mention this because in the past saying my husband lives under the stairs has caused some issues and earned me something of a reputation where I live.)
So I no longer have a dedicated writing spare where I am surrounded by books and an endless selection of wine. At least, I HAD no dedicated writing space. Not whilst I was living in one bedroom and someone was in the other. All of the writing was done in the living room, under the watchful eyes of whoever was in the house.
But it’s been about a month now since our homeless friend became not so homeless. This evening, something beautiful happened. I had inspiration. Nothing big (lord knows I have enough ideas in the ideas folder begging to be written!), but something.
Someone asked me to what mulled wine was. So I described it. Not just what was in it, but what it tastes like: it tastes like snuggling up under a warm duvet on a cold winter morning when you don’t have to get up.
And just like that it hit me: my mind was working again. It was alive with colours and descriptions and a way of looking at the world that I have sorely missed lately. And all without going off the wonderful medication that keeps me going and stops my mind from wandering too much.
So after almost two years of my musie being in a huff at the invasion of people, she finally has her space, I have my writing room back, and there is a whole trove of ideas that are begging for attention again.