Couldn't keep away, could I? Back at the beginning of August, I had decided to wind down Wordarts, and concentrate a bit more on The Scottish Home. Well, I took a break, did a lot of thinking, read a few books, talked to a few friends working in other artforms, did rather a lot of work on The Scottish Home in general - and my antique textile business in particular - and now feel ready to reactivate Wordarts again, a bit sooner than I had expected, even though I'm still in what I now realise is something of a transitional phase between one way of working - and another.
Two of the books I read were recommended by The Sunday Times Style Magazine's 'Aunt Sally' - so thanks to her for Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck. It's very funny, and very wise and for those who like lots of little 'exercises' to do, it will be ideal.
But even better from my point of view - and for creative individuals everywhere - is Transitions - Making Sense of Life's Changes, by William Bridges. This is an easy book to manage - it doesn't demand very much of you except thoughtful reading - but it gives a huge amount back, perhaps because its author rewrote his original book in the light of all that he had learned in the thirty years between his forties and his seventies - and it shows! It's a book full of poetry, wit and wisdom and I was a lot happier with myself at the end of it than I was at the beginning. It helped to explain me to myself - and I'm rereading it again right now.
Both of these books seem to have helped to get me back on track with my writing. Bridges in particular offers no glib solutions. But he does offer the distilled wisdom and reassurance of his own considerable experience. As a result, the book is full of profound insights and I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is in the middle of one of those phases of change and confusion that beset all of us from time to time.