“When it comes to songwriting, for me there needs to be prolonged periods of silence. It’s 80 per cent doing other things – playing pool, making a cup of tea, eating a sandwich, going for a walk.

“Too many people sit down to write and they’ve already got a formulaic idea or a structure in their head.”

Foy Vance

I sense a huge amount of truth in Foy’s words. I get morose sometimes that I don’t seem to be able to create the number of new songs (or other creative content) that I did ten years ago.

I’ve realised that some of this is because ten years ago, I spent large parts of most days effectively doing nothing. The result was perhaps 30-40 songs a year.

By comparison, I’ve ‘finished’ one composition throughout a hectic 2016.

How do we strike the balance between intentionally carving out protected time to think, to ponder, to create, to be – without turning it in to an antithetical pressure cooker?