Writing isn't all about sitting at the computer/laptop/tablet, or even old fashioned notebook. It's also about dreaming. Not the sort where you conjure up your latest best seller; imagine what it would feel like to be interviewed on Breakfast TV, or to glide along the red carpet at the premiere of the film of your book: the one that is about to gross millions and put you right up there with J.K. Rowling in the millionaire stakes.
The dreaming I'm talking about is another form of work. It's what happens when you don't know where a story is going, or you're stuck on a scene, or a character. That's when I get up, switch off and go and do something completely different, something that will let my mind float free.
Sometimes it's walking into town through the trees of Station Walks, or the Brampton Park. At other times I pull up a few weeds in the garden or do some mundane household chores.
Taking a shower is good too.
Yesterday, on my way to Birmingham, it was sitting in the train watching the countryside go by. I'm working on the second book about Mouse and Lanyon, the next in the series after "Clear Gold" and I was having trouble with a character who was threatening to take over the first part of the story.
As I sat and stared at the sun filled fields and crumbling industrial buildings, the answer came to me. Notebook and pen out, I began jotting down ideas.
I had thought I was taking a day off. In fact the journey proved very productive and as well as having a great time with an old friend, the following morning the chapters simply fell into place. At which point, I sat down at the computer and began...