Louise Dean, for example. Louise writes books. For a living. Witty books. Sharply drawn characters. Profound observations. Acerbic asides. She wins prizes.
Louise also has a house full of children, a thriving sideline in perfectly prim pottery www.dorisandco.co.uk , a glorious smile and beautiful nails.
( I get to compete on the children front 😉 )
Right now, at the start of the school holidays, sitting at my desk writing feels about as successful an activity as writing postcards home from the deck of the Titanic. Creatively, I am staggeringly ill-disciplined. If I am fortunate, a poem will arrive almost perfectly formed, and its tight economy of words will delight me. This happens about once a year or so. Now, I am having to create something much larger and entirely new to me, and it’s getting in the way of family life. Or the family is getting in the way of it.
So this is what I mean. It’s ten thirty in the morning and so far my essential iceberg avoidance has included:
Taking teenager to train station for early train (work experience)
Putting the first load of laundry out on the line. It is July, after all.
Moving the hen run so that they don’t drown when the Flood comes
Pulling a few weeds on the way back from the hens
Looking at the rain clouds and wondering why I hung the washing out
Drinking large mug of coffee
Calling No2 son ( who has Grade 8 clarinet exam on Saturday) to get up
Realising I have a blog post to write
Putting next washing load on despite the drizzle, and pouring second cup of coffee
(At this point, Dear Reader, my peaceful early morning creativity has evaporated into mist).
Now stressed from caffeine rush. Yell at son to get up. Go to take His Nib’s car to garage for its service and MOT. Realise HN has taken car to station. Again. Ring HN to
vent frustration point out his teensy mistake. Ring nice local garage man to apologise and to rebook HN’s car.
Make third cup of coffee and sit down at computer. Realise I now have approximately:
- 30 mins before the clarinet practice starts
- 50 mins before ten-year old gets home from sleepover with her best friend to start the whole sleepover thing here instead….
- 1 hour before someone or something wants lunch
- 4 hours before the farm shop closes and I have to panic about supper for HN
- 7 hours before teenager on work experience needs collecting from station
and I’ve forgotten everything I had planned out in my head for my characters. Heigh ho. As eldest child would say;
“First world problems, Mum. First world problems”