Two plans come to fruition. Two plans, which could easily have failed, both turn out to be more wonderful than I could have dreamed.

And they are such funny plans. They are idiosyncratic and a little rough round the edges and absolutely packed with non-perfect, non-shiny humanity.

I like to get better at things. I like to learn, and I regard the internet as a vast Open University. It’s a very peculiar university. Some of the tutors are mad, and should be not allowed on Twitter, for their own good. Some are so brilliant that I’d like them to come and live in my house and tell me how life works every single morning. Some are funny and a little strange. (There’s the fellow who is obsessed with the Stoics. He is my people. I understand odd passions, and feel at home with them. I said to one of my writers today that you need a certain amount of obsession to write a book. An obsessive love of words and language and sentences and stories will get you a long way.) 

And then there are what I call the shiny people. They have all the answers. They look faintly crazed, with a gimlet gleam in their eyes. They are very polished, as if someone rubs them each day with a soft cloth. They have perfect hair and perfect teeth and perfect skin. (I suspect that they exfoliate a lot.) They do podcasts and vidcasts and incredibly long and involved YouTube videos. They tell you that if you get up at four in the morning and never again have a negative thought, you will conquer the world.

I generally try to avoid the Shiny People, because they make me feel so scruffy and whimsical and rough around the edges. But occasionally I do go down the Shiny rabbit hole, because they are so armoured in certainty, and sometimes I crave certainty.

Anyway, my plans - the ones which have succeeded, in their rather surprising way - are the opposite of all that. They work on heart and gut and instinct and intuition; they are moveable feasts; they involve a lot of faintly eccentric metaphors. (I have never met a metaphor that I will not stretch until it begs for mercy.) 

Today, for instance, I coached a wonderful writer by using the red mare as a teaching assistant. We got a few looks as we marched through the woods. There I was, talking at the top of my voice about knowing what you want and why you want it, about visualisations, about building the conduit to the creative mind, with the great thoroughbred walking beside me like a faithful hound. 

‘Nice day,’ said the passers-by, giving me sidelong glances.

‘It’s a glorious day,’ I sang. 

The red mare sighed and blinked, used to this by now. She once taught a fifteen-year-old the To be or not to be soliloquy from Hamlet out in the big meadow. She’s been here before.

It’s not the Shiny People, but it was real and true and faintly comical and it worked. I’m always prepared for the things I do not to work, because I like to take chances and go big and fly high. I know well the crashing back to earth and the having to start all over again. 

But this week there was no crashing. The wind under my wings lifted me higher, and the ground fell away, and I flew. 

‘Are we finished now?’ said the red mare.  ‘Because this story structure business is all very well, but I have some spring grass to eat.’