Although I was preoccupied with lists of "to do" matters in my life for months, my aim was to not to lose my connection with writing. I tried to write every day in a journal and focussed on the NOW. Sometimes I wrote about frustrations in my life; sometimes anything that came to my head; sometimes I was negative - I would never write another book again! - and put those feelings into words. I'm glad this period of time is over, and that I've abandoned the idea of "giving up writing books". As J.K. Rowling, the author of all the Harry Potter books, says, "Never give up writing books".
During this time, I travelled to brush off the cobwebs and loosen up my mind. I used waiting time at airports to notice people and try to describe them particularly when they were quirky. A wrinkled face I saw led me to playing with words. How could I describe it? My little notebook, though more frequently the backs of café receipts, collected those nuggets of descriptions, focussing on strong verbs. Travel also allowed me to clarify perceptions about anything from how I was living my life to writing to composting ideas for writing my next book.
Ideas for the book changed with time - slowly, imperceptibly. Day-dreaming was very much part of the process too. Going for long walks, and listening to music could be inspiring.
Taking Stephen King's advice, I made it a habit to read books almost every day. I read them as a writer rather than as a reader, though that disappeared when it was a "can't put it down" book eg. a psychological thriller. I tackled new authors, new styles of story telling, new structures in plot. I limited my time on social media.
So what happened this year? The photos show some of the highlights of the travel: Portofino, Budapest and Sardinia (above), yours truly at the annual Dublin Writers´ Conference with Laurence O´Bryan who started Books Go Social. I also attended the Penzance LitFest. Those conferences offered a rich source of ideas, opportunities to network with other authors, and lots of memories. . Talking, talking, talking. And Networking.
And then serious health issues took over my life. I've reached the end of that tunnel and am ready to begin writing books again! Happy writing to you all.