I have found myself thinking about my mysterious visitor at odd moments this week, despite having one of the worst depressions ever.
I did spend a lot of time trying to do as he suggested, going over my characters life in PayBack, my current WIP. Instead of inspiration and enthusiasm leading me on to greater depths, my mood became blacker by the minute.
After some time trying to pretend that everything was fine, I had to admit defeat, probably because other things were becoming unglued.
I was within an eyelash length of giving everything up, walking away (well, running away, to be precise) when I realised I wasn’t alone.
My visitor was back.
His familiar figure had made himself comfortable in my office chair and was swivelling backwards and forwards with a whimsical smile hovering on his lips.
To be honest, I wasn’t really in the mood for another literal lecture, my mind busy trying to remember where I had seen him before.
As he became aware of my presence, he turned the chair in my direction and smiled at me. Not that I could see his mouth properly, the snow white moustache all but his it from view, the only clue the upward ripple of his whiskers and the light in his eyes.
“There you are, Jaye. I have been watching your progress, or should say the lack of it and could not stay away any longer. I take it my advice did not help much?”
“I’ve had a bad week, can’t seem to do anything right these days…”
“But you do want to finish the book, I take it?”
For the briefest of moments, I couldn’t answer his question. Many times this past week I had wanted to burn it, but could the reason I didn’t, be because I did want to finish it and do it well?
“Yes, I do, but it’s not happening…there is such a lot of everything else to do each day, I just can’t keep up.”
He looked at me for the longest time, as if trying to read the state of my mind. I nearly laughed at that thought, there wasn’t much of interest going on in there and that’s a fact.
“That could be the problem right there, ma’am…”
I couldn’t help it. I groaned. The last thing I needed right now was another problem.
“I am duty bound to tell you, so you might as well listen.”
“Before we go any further, any chance you can tell me who you are? You seem so familiar, but my mind is not obliging…”
“My name is Samuel and I have come a long way to help with your predicament.”
My brain was doing the rumba, searching my damaged database for anyone called Samuel, but nothing was forthcoming. In the meantime, Samuel went back to swivelling my chair and enjoying every minute. He seemed like a good man, one with a sense of humour. He spoke with a soft American accent, southern, I think and his dark clothes were old fashioned. None of which helped to identify him. I’m usually good with faces, hopeless with names, but I had no idea who he was.
“Okay, I’m game. What pearls of wisdom have you for me today?”
“I have the feeling you are spreading yourself a little thin, trying to do and think of so many different things. The result is that you accomplish very little. Maybe you should narrow your focus, concentrate on just a few goals. You need to succeed in something and soon, or your confidence will shrink even more.”
His words sounded familiar. Someone had said the self same thing to me just that morning. I had to admit that the thought of actually managing to achieve something was very appealing, as I couldn’t remember the last time I had.
“But what about PayBack, should I try to finish it?”
Even as I asked the question, I knew what his answer would be. Of course, I should finish it, that’s the reason I get up every morning, isn’t it?