It’s all about the resolutions, the intentions, the new broom. Getting rid of clutter, striding forth following your nose, your heart your good intentions. Intentions. That word again.

I intend things. So many, every week, every year, every day, but that’s so often all I manage. The intention. As it is, I realise, and this comes from looking back from a place of age, and possible wisdom, or dotage depending on the direction of the wind, I realise that the best things happen not because they are planned, but because they sneak up on me. Almost nothing, I intend, ever happens the way I envisage. This isn’t true of everything I write, but the book as a whole is never quite what I had in mind. This is a good thing – it is reading those final drafts when the book emerges as if it knows itself what I intended – and, it interpreted it better than my post it notes or notebook scribbles ever could.

I comfort myself with this, particularly on days like today when a fairly rational and organised plan has been turned upside down and inside out by my “what if” head, and now, the thing I thought was almost complete lies a tattered wreck. Unsubmittable, and unsubmissive.

I’m sure other people are better at ignoring those nagging extra ideas – or in the blink of an eye, rejecting that unwanted scenario – but I am crap at it. Even after umpteen books, I will still insist on wedging in an extra character or a scene of wild daring that in the cold light of morning seems more like something from an over excited monkey than a novelist of advancing years.

Still – I am doing it still, and, as the ideas fight it out I am grateful for their appearance. How awful would it be for me to begin the year, and begin new stories and find the pages blank.