The idea ghost visits me in the night.
It's been a sticky couple of months. I got to the end of the path on my first draft, and there didn't seem to be anywhere else to go.
I looked around, reread, forced myself to take little forays into the woods on both sides of the path, set my brain free, reeled it back in. But....
The book remained incomplete, thin, unresolved.
I know it's in there somewhere, I can feel it. I know roughly what it's about. But it felt like a loose clothesline -- a string with no tension -- and only a single damp sock flapping on it.
So I gave up. I finished my book tour and stopped trying to work. I did other things. Had a few days off. Went to the V&A and looked at the new design show. Saw Gerhard Richter at the Tate. Started planning the masterclass I'm teaching on finding a voice. Wandered around the Ashmolean in Oxford and had lunch in a pub.
It felt like psychological trepanning -- knocking a hole in my skull to let in some fresh air.
And then last night at around 4:15am, just like magic, a ghost crept into my room and planted a new idea in to my brain. I got out of bed and wrote it down.
OK, so it's not the world's biggest idea. But it has opened up the landscape. And it'll lead to something else. A buried skeleton. A pumpkin. A witch.
It's a bit early for Halloween, but I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the idea ghost.
Come by anytime. Don't bother to knock.