I don’t know about other writers but when I’ve had people to stay for a few days – however overjoyed I am to see them – I can’t settle to work immediately once they’ve gone. I need to find my way back into that space of almost indolent calm in which I can slip into my fictional world unnoticed and mundane tasks like putting the washing on, cleaning the floor or ironing can be slotted in to the writing day without breaking my concentration.
When we’ve had guests, my thoughts are too fragmented, I’ve had to exist too much outside my own head; I’ve been too busy making sure they’re OK, that they’re not bored, that they’re getting what they like to eat, that they’re sleeping OK, to find that kind of peaceable tranquility of mind which I need if I’m going to hear what my characters are saying and see what they’re doing. I can write other stuff – blogging’s OK, because that’s me speaking out of my conscious mind but fiction, which comes from another place entirely, is impossible on the day people have left.
So today, I have taken up a long-standing invitation to contribute a post to the Macmillan New Writers’ blog which you can read here. It’s longstanding not because I’m a dilatory blogger but because the email invitation arrived via my website and, until Friday when the Other Half’s sister rang to say that emails sent to via the ‘Contact’ page on the site were being ‘pinged’ back, I had no idea that the feed from website to email inbox wasn’t working. A quick email to the guy who designed my website and I had an inbox full of exciting emails.
Tomorrow, I shall be back to what passes for normal chez nous and, I hope, back in the fictional world of Rebecca Revisited.