I've just returned from the rainiest holiday I've ever had. The week I spent in Brighten when I was 10 comes close, but my memory of that is coloured by a child's perspective and my desperate desire to play on the beach.
    It would have been nice to see the sea last week without it being screened by rain, but as a writer, being kept indoors shouldn't depress me (you might think). What an opportunity to write without any of the usual distractions! If I can produce a few thousand words with the television on and the other half tapping away at his computer at home, why not in the holiday cottage? Yet I struggled.
    The problem was the light. When the sun shone, the cottage was bright enough, but when the weather was grey it was dismal indoors too. I hadn't realised before quite how much effect the light has on my ability to concentrate–after all, I worked in a newspaper office with harsh strip lighting, rain or shine, and I simply got on with it. The difference there was that I had all the facts ready to be assembled. I didn't have to imagine much, so if my thoughts did wander, it was easy to get back on track. Not so when I'm writing about a world of my own creation.
    The moral is to make sure that I get the lighting right now I'm back. It needs to be as close to daylight and as even as possible, so that neither my eyes (nor my brain) get strained. The place where I usually write might not be the best one in the winter. Moving my chair might be as effective as changing my lamp.
    With longer nights and darker days ahead, the situation will only get worse if I delay. This is one situation where procrastination really won't do!