Thursday of last week was both troubling and - ultimately - rewarding.
I was suffering a strange sensation which I suspect often bothers writers. (No, it's not insanity, before you say it, although that certainly can help with the job.)
I was planning the next part of my new book, and it all seemed to be going fine. But I had this nagging feeling there was something I was missing.
The idea I had was decent, perfectly ok, acceptable, all those kind of bland words. But I just had a sense I was overlooking something - that my plan wasn't as good as it could be. And I don't care for that at all.
The feeling stayed with me all day, so when I came home I sat in my study for an hour, but still couldn't work out what it was that was eluding me.
I tried again... I went for a walk on the river and had a pint by the water at a fine local pub. It was a beautiful evening, and by rights should have brought inspiration.
But... still nothing.
So I headed home, feeling frustrated. But it was early, I wasn't working the next day, and thus, as if by magic, stopped in at another bar for a little more thinking. I got chatting to a couple I know, and... bingo!
The idea arrived. In full colour, glory and detail. And it was, as I'd thought, far better than my original plan.
I should have known. It was being a tease. Ideas so often do that. They flutter airily around the edges of your mind and refuse to be caught.
But leave them be for a while and they soon come home.
So, a lesson learned. The next time I know there's an idea out there somewhere, I shall stop fumbling in the dark for it and just wait for it to come to me. It'll certainly save a great deal of time and annoyance.