Monday, 11 January 2010
Time poor, intentions waning
Novelists have always been at the top of the achievement ladder for me. Admittedly they might not be as good at saving lives as medics, or preventing world wars as teachers but, aside from performing a solo flute concerto at the Albert Hall or having several diplomatic languages under my belt, they have done the one thing I’d most like to do before I die. Or maybe even reach 40.
Like anyone who has ever put a pen to paper for purposes of enjoyment rather than to compose a shopping list, I am slightly convinced, in the dark hours of the night, that I could one day be sipping champagne listening in anticipation to the Booker prize results from a table two metres from the prize podium. The problem with my particular novel is that it has no content. None whatsoever. I am an efficient jobbing writer – give me a brief and I’ll research, interview, type and file. Coming up with ideas isn’t my forte. Which is one of the reasons I started this blog – to try and squeeze some self-initiated creativity out of my stoney imagination. And even that was someone else’s idea to be honest.
The thing is that there isn’t enough time in the day to commit to novel writing. And with statements like that it’s easy to see why I call myself unimaginative. But in my January ideal, the things I am hoping to add to my meagre 24-hour days are already a bit over-excited. I’m supposed to be running in the morning before anyone else gets up to make up for the classes I’m missing now I’m back in the office; getting to an office for all the hours the kids are entertained with Jolly Phonics and Greek gods; spending more quality time with the children when they’re not in state childcare; ensuring my vast musical knowledge is passed onto my daughter by hovering menacingly outside the study during her daily cello practise; trying to stop the little ones breaking up all the fantastic Lego creations made by the adults over the holidays, and of course find all that extra time to plan how best to not eat or drink anything that will take no time at all to lodge itself permanently to my hips.
And, the most annoying thing is that I’ve started to stay awake at night trying to work out how to collect extra hours for the day – which would be the perfect answer to everything if I were at all productive at 3am. Sadly I’m not, in the least. However, my half-awake dreams are getting more and more fabulous and action-packed, so maybe a best-selling series of teen novels about an anxty 30-something female super hero who never actually makes it to the gym but can kill literally hours of valuable time fretting about the optimum running order of her to-do list will be a highly-acclaimed success.