I got the bulk of the book done in a frenzied whirl of activity over five days in a hotel where I was staying to attend a conference. The moment I had the thought of writing it in the first person, (I was swimming at the time), I jumped out of the sea, bought a notebook and started writing. All the ideas I had had about the story came pouring out in a disjointed fashion, some bits from the beginning, some from the end, in no particular order. I wrote as I felt like writing. I wrote through meals, car trips, plane flights. Then I came home, and got up a little earlier every day to type it out. That was the hardest part because my handwriting with my right gammy hand was pretty hard to read. Then I did the less creative but absolutely necessary parts of the book. I established a time line. The date the book started, the progression through the seasons, the progression through the narrator's emotions. I had to do research. For example, I have mentioned Big Bang Theory a couple of times in the book and the narrator describes her favourite scene which happens to be of Amy and Howard singing Neil Diamond in the car. But when I researched the scene, I found that it happened after my time frame. But that was okay, it was easy to find another favourite scene. I also mentioned a seminar with Tony Robbins and for verisimilitude (a word the narrator would never use), I had to find out what time of the year Tony did his seminar in Sydney that year.
Then when all that was done, my mind went into some kind of hibernation and I did nothing for months. I re-read it a few times and fixed grammar and spelling but I did nothing creative with it. My world just didn't give me time. So I decided to get away. I went to another conference (which just happened to be on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean - oh the pain, the pain), and we landed in Rome which was just a stone's throw from the beginning of the Camino, the pilgrimage route across Spain (just a couple of hours by plane and 200km by car) and I walked for ten days. I took my wonderful little recorder and just knew that every morning I would get a new idea as I walked. And I did. It was fantastic. The idea would come and I would talk into my recorder for most of the morning and then in the afternoon I just walked and enjoyed being where I was. That happened every day for ten days. Then when I got back, I transcribed from the recorder, which was easier than transcribing from my writing!
Since then, I have come in to the office to work. There is no dust in the corner looking at me accusingly. I can close the door, put on the heater, and write. That's what I am doing now. I got here at 7 this morning because it was cold and boring at home, turned on the heater and started writing.
Another question was 'how did you decide on a title? That's a story for another day. Best wishes to everyone!