I think the fog might be lifting. I am not 100% sure, but maybe, just maybe. It’s a curious pursuit, this taking on a new profession. Normally someone employs you and you turn up for work, imbibed with vigour. When you ease into a new ‘calling’, not exactly a profession, but a thing you think you could spend your life doing, like writing, it’s much more gentle. There’s the self-doubt (spades of) and the pay (none or virtually none) and the lack of coworkers (the dog is my best friend and sits at my feet as I type). Writing for a living is shaping up to be tricky. I can admit I have had times, post-MA qualification where I have had the thought: I don’t have it in me. I loiter over the headhunter emails I receive associated with my old profession and fantasise about earning a regular wage and having a job title. But then I remind myself why I left all of that behind, and despite one of the worst cases of procrastination for years, I get back to work.
Having written the draft of a novel, it’s like old news to me. It needs to have life breathed back into it after time on a dusty shelf. That frisson of excitement, the hope that it could be really good is starting to rekindle. This after some firm words from my writing colleagues and a period of reflection.
Meanwhile, other, wider life goes on.
My time is spent sorting other people’s logistics. Having a teenage daughter is a maelstrom of requests and open questions, from what’s for dinner (texted daily from school) to can you pick me up from a party to where is my red top? It’s like being on call to a demanding B-list celebrity, at all times. My son is not dissimilar although his requests are fewer, his interaction with real people is less; he has developed screen dependency. I have staged an intervention and confiscated all technical items. It got ugly but I am standing firm.
There’s endless kit and transportation for their various activities; hockey, canoeing, rugby, football. I feel like we do too much. I know we do. My sister in law came to stay, my dad came to stay, friends come and go for roast dinner on Sundays. I clean up and reassign possessions to rightful places. I listen to audiobooks in the car. This one about the mid-life crisis; jump in, the water is warm. And this one about travelling the world. I have my hair cut short. I order expensive clothes from the web then send them all back. I wonder if I should take Manuka honey every day. I waste days (weeks?) googling shit. I fret about society. It’s your basic first world extravaganza of self-conscious overload.
Then I get down to business and rewrite my plot and focus on the work ahead to try to get published. Welcome to my world…