All were wanting to know the same thing: are you OK?
Thank you everyone who knew I usually travel between Bath and Cornwall at the weekends and got in touch about the motorway crash last Friday evening. Yes, I was on the M5 that evening, it was very dark and foggy, and fireworks were going off, but I didn't see any smoke. I was ahead of the crash by a short time, and on the southbound, not the northbound, carriageway, so oblivious that anything had happened until the first call on Saturday.
But it has made me think about how transient life is, and how vulnerable we are. Carpe diem! Seize the day! If we don't do it now, then when? Goethe wrote: 'What ever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace, and power in it.'
It made me ask myself why I was pussy footing around with this current novel, which has been in the making for so long. And yes, I've got a lot of demands on my time, but not much of it is top priority and certainly not compared to getting this novel written.
On Saturday afternoon I had a twenty minute chunk of free time before we were supposed to be going out in the afternoon. The Saturday before I would have read the paper, but instead I decided to snatch even that little bit of writing time. The twenty minutes stretched to over an hour, and I got a decent amount of writing done. Yesterday I wrote more than I have done for ages, and I loved it.
I don't know why it takes a 34 car pile up to shake me into thinking about what I really want to do, but there it is: it has. I'm a writer. That's all there is to it.