Faffing about . . .

24Sep08

It’s one of those days today . . .

Minni had her injections yesterday, so we had the obligatory sleepless night last night – an hour and half of restlessness, needing cuddle, not wanting cuddle, squawking – leg hurts, cuddle. Squawk – teeth hurt, need cuddle. Not comfy. Wriggle around a lot . . . at 5 am we both collapsed in exhaustion. I feel sorry for TOM (The Old Man) who had to get up at 5:15 and go to work. I feel sorry for ME who had to get up at 6:30 am for the school run. Why it has to take an hour and a half to get up, dressed, breakfasted and out of the house I have no idea, but Rumpus did not help this morning by announcing he wasn’t going to school and refusing to get dressed. They know, you know, when you’re frayed around the edges . . . and do their best to make you snap. Fortunately, we’ve played this game before so I put on my best bored and ignoring mask and went about everything else. (Not too hard when I feel like a zombie anyway). Further provocation in the shape of unmaking beds, announcing that he’s going to school in his pyjamas (yawn, been there, done that), throwing his uniform down the stairs and other unmentionables . . . HOW I managed not to blow my stack I do not know . . . but my parting shot (“we’re going to school in 15 minutes. If you want breakfast before you go, you better get dressed”) seemed to do the trick. Five minutes later he was downstairs and clamouring for toast. Admittedly, his shirt AND shorts were on back to front, but he HAD got dressed. Why he couldn’t have just done it in the first place I have NO idea.

School run safely over, we get home . . . Minni throws cornflakes around whilst I get the kitchen cleared down, put the washing on and hoover up the enormous spiders (see here) . . . She’s cheery for a while, but almost as tired as me so thankfully we go down for an early nap.

Perhaps the sensible thing to do would be to join her, but experience tells me that grabbing a nap really doesn’t help – in fact, I usually feel worse, and I worry too about getting back to the school for Rumpus’ lunchtime pickup . . . so I decide to get on with “the things I want to do”, because I have banned myself from doing housework during naptime (essential for my sanity – I was getting to resent never getting a minute for myself. Now – the house is a bit scruffy around the edges, but I’m happy, so there!).

I have a stack of jobs to do in the garden . . . but it started raining and I’m too tired to be committed enough to get drenched, and nothing’s that urgent it can’t wait so I make coffee and decide to do some writing work instead . . .

Last night, I read Jay Lake’s post on fiction submissions and what he says made so much sense, and particularly tracking back through some of the earlier posts where he talks about building an inventory and writing/editing a story a week, I felt all fired up and thought: yes, I can do that for a month, and we’ll see where it takes us – it can’t do any harm, and it’ll definitely be an improvement on hanging about waiting for my three current stories out on submission to come back. I also thought that my immediate task must therefore be to review the current pile of written-not-edited and do the bin-edit-ready sift-through and get some more out, before I start generating more. There are over a hundred stories in that pile, so it may take some time . . . . but I AM excited about the process, it’s something that instantly clicked and made huge amounts of sense.

I have the same issue with novels. I have one in edit that I have been editing on-and-off for a year now. Egad, I must finish it . . . and then I can get to work on the other six first-drafts sitting in line behind it. WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING?

Exactly what I’m doing right now.

Faffing about.

I’ve fiddled with my calendar, I’ve sorted out my emails, I’ve done a little bit of surfing, a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but NO WRITING, and NO EDITING. And now it’s too late to start because in 20 minutes I’ve got to go and do school pickup.

What is wrong with me?

Exhaustion, I’ll admit, is a factor. But, looking over my state of mind, and given that one of the places I surfed to was Someday Syndrome to read the “fearfully moving forward” post, a number of recognitions have fallen into place.  When I add this to the work I’ve been doing in How To Think Sideways, a lot of things are starting to make sense about what I’ve been doing and, I guess more importantly, why I’ve been doing it.

I’m scared.

What if I fail? What if I’m not good enough? What if I take a shot at my dream and I don’t make it? I’m chicken, and I’ve just realised it.

hmmmm – meltdown, anyone?

Question is, do I have the guts to face it down and get on with it anyway, or am I going to hide under my duvet for the rest of my life?

Time to stop faffing about, I think . . .

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