Go easy, or burn…

I’m knackered. I’m lying in bed pretty much deciding whether to go to sleep or to tell you lot about it! And therein lies the problem.


I’m still doing #NaNoWriMo. But there’s no way on earth I’m going to make the 50,000 words by the Nov 30th deadline. I could push myself, write 2000 words a day after lights out, but you all know now what the day job is: keeping the good ship upright and on some kind of course, with an #undiagnosed youngest and a #transgender eldest and two struggling parents.


I spent one day this week writing nothing but notes to support a PIP appeal case (long story, I won’t bore you) and another two hours taking the youngest to get her heart scanned (it’s fine) but all the time feeling finely strung between writers’ resentment (why is this eating up my writing time) and parents guilt (why on earth are you worrying about writing, get your head in the game). Now I’m mostly overthinking it (and talking to myself in parenthesis).


But why am I bothered, right? It’s just a self-imposed deadline, why beat myself up? Well partly because I think there’s some element of that in the creative process. Although writing is a hell of a lot more fun than digging holes, I think some of the processes of making something finished is an inevitable slog. You’ve got to pull yourself through the bits you hate doing (cover blurbs anyone?) in order to get something creative over the finish line. And paradoxically, to everyone that knows me, I’m a finisher. And for this book, I guess because it’s subject is so much more real, it matters. The characters matter, their pretend lives matter because they’re just a little bit like people I know.


I’m not going to finish it ‘on time’ for #NaNoWriMo. I’m not sure that 1666 words a day for 30 days in a row, is a plate I’ll ever manage to spin, without there being too much of a risk of letting one of the other ones fall. But I’ll have probably half a book written by the end of November. And the boat’ll stay on course and the plates will stay spinning another day.

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