Yesterday's post referenced the novel "Woodstock". Walter Scott often moved from one project ot another. Sometimes these breaks provided an opportunity to move forward while waiting for source material for the first project. Other times they seem to have been an outlet when Scott ran into a creative roadblock. In late 1825, Scott took a break from working on his Life of Napoleon Buonaparte to start the novel Woodstock. From Scott's Journal of January 2, 1826:
Weather clearing up in Edinburgh once more, and all will, I believe, do well. I am pressed to get on with Woodstock, and must try. I wish I could open a good vein of interest which would breathe freely. I must take my old way, and write myself into good-humour with my task. It is only when I dally with what I am about, look back, and aside, instead of keeping my eyes straight forward, that I feel these cold sinkings of the heart. All men I suppose do, less or more. They are like the sensation of a sailor when the ship is cleared for action, and all are at their places—gloomy enough; but the first broadside puts all to rights. Dined at Huntly Burn with the Fergusons en masse.