The trouble with being a writer is that it is by necessity a very solitary profession. Yes, ok I can talk to other people at other times of the day but the main part of my day [and the main part of my brain] is caught up in whatever plot is currently unfolding on the pristine screen of my laptop.
But rather than making me introspective; making me focus on what is important in life and my attitude towards it, it makes me oblivious to most other things. And for that I am deeply sorry.
Writers have long had a history of weirdness and eccentricity. Not that this excuses anything but there is certainly a correlation between creativity and eccentricity. Perhaps being caught up with one's own characters and their situations is enough to deal with, without the problems of the real world too.
Or is it that the imagined problems, which litter the pages of any book, are more seductively appealing than real problems, their issues more easily solved, if somewhat more imaginatively? I genuinely do not know.
And I look at the characters in my books, strong women and strong men who are faced with such challenges in their daily life and I wonder how I would cope if it were me. There is courage and there is bravery in the real world, you only have to open the pages of any newspaper to see that. People who have been so wronged by life, so unjustly treated by others, so badly served by fate and chance and yet they soldier bravely on.
I have heard it said that very few of us know what we are truely capable of until we are put to the test. Perhaps this is true but I am honest enough to say that quite frankly I would rather not find out! And I suspect I am not alone in holding that sentiment.
So, wherever you are reading this, whatever else you may be doing, take a moment out. Take just one moment to stop and look around you and appreciate what you have. Take pleasure in the easy breath which you draw into your lungs, the way the light falls attractively from a lamp or lightshade, the comfort of the seat under you and the safety you feel around you.
There is so much grace in the world around us and we seldom stop to notice. This Easter holiday I plan to notice.