Shifting thoughts and word counts
Here I am, writing my way out of a grey place I’ve been caught in since December. Since Renae’s short illness and sudden, terminal departure from my life. It’s two months now that I haven’t been myself. My focus isn’t always what I like it to be. Gloom crawls around the edges some days, fuzzing up my day’s goal. A tide of low thoughts persists in my mind never quite going away. I started the year at a low ebb and it’s been slow to shift. It’s the sadness of grief, it’s familiar but this time it’s more persistent. I’m not concerned, I know the cause, I know time passes and as it does, my mind lifts a bit, and a bit more. It’s a necessary process.
Writing helps so I’ve imposed a deadline on myself to force a momentum to my working week. I’ll have the first draft of my new book finished by the end of this month. A first draft is just that, it’ll be a far from finished thing, but it’ll be something concrete. The way it’s going it’ll be a messy draft. My deadline means I have to churn out a lot of words every day. Mostly I manage to meet my daily targets but there are some days when I don’t and I knock off in the evening knowing the slipping word count will later lead to deadline pressure. Maybe my subconscious is playing a deliberate ploy and I’ll get more productive and focussed as my deadline closes in. If it works I’ll find out in two weeks time.
This week we took the camper van out for the first trip of the year. The first without Renae. In theory I can write wherever I am. It doesn’t always mean I do. But I bargained with myself as I looked at the draft and what still needs doing and thought we’d go anyway. It might sharpen me up I thought.
I left Renae’s bed in the usual place in the van and Angel took it, moving between hers and Renae’s, I always suspected she fancied it for herself. It made me smile seeing her tucked in, confident as always. She’s inherited Renae’s role, the swagger is all there. It’s a delight to see.
We parked up at the foot of a castle. A place where centuries of battles have been fought. I took an afternoon tour around it, giving my imagination free rein.
Stone steps worn and shaped by hundreds of years of feet, all now long gone. I enjoy a bit of history and being a tourist in February suits me fine, I had the place almost to myself.
The dogs couldn’t accompany me into the castle, but Albert Claude tried. I’d left them all at the van in the care of Michel. Only to find Albert skidding to a halt beside me just as I reached the ticket kiosk. He’d escaped the van and run three hundred meters and around a corner to join me. I walked him back to the van and wondered if Michel had noticed he’d gone.
We had just one night away but it felt longer. Something shifted. Time must and will move on and with it old memories surface and new ones form. Now it’s back to the first draft and daily word count.