Stepped off the train at York, buoyed up by champagne and smoked salmon and slightly disorientated - it was like a kind of top notch restaurant you might find in a Harry Potter novel, where you enter from one place and find yourself in entirely another when you come out. My brother lives in York and we spent the day shopping and hanging out with him, so actually the destination was pretty cool, (specially as I got to pick up my delicious niece and nephew from school and have an hour with them before we had to head back to the Train of Indulgence) but that's beside the point. Having spent a lovely couple of hours in the company of a group of interesting, wise and wonderful women at the National Trust writing workshop I did on Sunday, and talking about the road to publication, the idea of enjoying the journey in its own right was definitely uppermost in my mind.
One of the several squillion differences between the Orient Express and the 17.09 Virgin Express service from Euston to Crewe (aside from the slightly sticky seats and the commuter with his thigh pressed right up against yours in the tightly packed carriage) is the much slower speed at which it travels, and the way that allows you to notice so much more - like the lupins growing wild at the side of the track, and the shadows of clouds moving across the big green fields of unripe wheat. All of which is a roundabout way of saying that getting somewhere quickly (ie to publication, for the purposes of this clumsy analogy, which is directed at the ladies I met who are waiting for editor feedback / trying to muster the strength and energy to start again and submit / facing the prospect of beginning a new writing project in a new genre) is not necessarily the best way. Travel slowly, indulgently, and notice stuff on the way. And don't just save the champagne for when you get there either. Celebrate the journey.
* I would have put this post up yesterday, but spent most of the day (without exaggeration) trying to work out how to get the photos I took on my phone onto my computer. Only when my husband had spent the entire evening trying to do the same did we conclude that the installation disk that came with my phone is faulty. 'Dear Samsung, you owe me 9 hours of my life back and a stress-reducing hot stones massage in a technology-free spa in the Himalayas. Could you also explain to my editor that another writing day lost was your fault, not mine. Thank you. Yours in extreme frustration and techno-loathing, India Grey.'