On Being Unable to Settle

Today is the first day I’ve had free to write, for AGES. There’s been a health scare, Christmas and family times, A Christmas Quiz and family New Year party – Hogmanay up here in Scotland –  both of which I helped organise. It’s been busy, fun, chaotic.

There’s a ton of housework and washing to be done, but I’m really good at ignoring that and sitting down to write. But instead, I find myself obsessively checking the NYC Midnight site – for today is the day the results of the Flash Fiction Challenge 2016 are announced… Getting from 2100 to 48 people is fantastic and I’m very happy. But the boost in visibilty and financial terms that winning would be…. well, it would be amazing. I can but dream. The money is most definitely secondary (except that at the moment we’re living beyond our means in many ways so it would most definitely be helpful) but the boost for my writing CV would be incredible. Wonderful! America is only just waking up. Nevertheless I’ve been checking my e mail and the NYC site since I woke up, when America still slumbered. From  now on though, I’m on tenterhooks….

Another reason I can’t write much is that my writing muscles are slack. The less I write, the more ideas I have, yet the harder they are to get down. The advice about writing every day is spot on – if you don’t, the writing muscles slacken. Mine are slack. They’ll be back; by the end of tomorrow I’ll have plenty of words on pages and I’ll have my voice back. I love Christmas and the holidays but writing gets shoved to the side, as Mummy takes over, just as it should be. The kids will always come first, but once they’re at school, writing comes first.

And if I’m nowhere near the top ten, that’s fine too. I’m chuffed to bits to have made it to the final round of 48 people. I imagine they are all, like me, waiting, waiting for that announcement.

Back to the housework. It takes my mind off it, but doesn’t deter the butterflies that are flapping away inside me…Fortunately, I can work with them present, even if they make me flit from job to job, here and there, settling on cleaning the sink one minute and then folding clothes and then thinking about dinner, tidying the endless piles of STUFF dumped all aroudn the house by me or my man or the kids… it’ll all get done, but in crazy little fits and starts.

And I bet I won’t be able to find a damn thing when I’ve tidied up, as my mind is all over the place and I’ll put things in funny places…

Ooh! Spark for a story. Bye bye housework, see you later…


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I'm a writer living in the NE of Scotland. I write short stories, flash fiction and to date, three novels as practice ones. I've won a few competitions and been published in a few places, and I've been shortlisted too... My stories have been described as easily readable, but with serious themes. I'm finding my own unique voice as a writer and it becomes clearer every day. I'm a mum of two young children and have a partner who is very supportive. I give English tuition to anyone who needs it and I drive taxis part time. In between being a keen cook and making ignoring housework a new hobby, I write. I manage a few hours a day during a good week and one day I'd LOVE to spend a week or so on a writers' retreat. Having said that, the busier I am, the more I write. I like working under pressure (hence my attendance on sites such as 'Hour of Writes' and 'Write-Invite') and it never ceases to amaze me what pops out of my head when I sit down to a blank screen. I am a member of a writer's group called Mearns Writers, a lovely bunch of (slightly bonkers and thoroughly interesting) people indeed. I'm trying to build an on line life as I believe most writers nowadays need to have a readily availble 'CV' in the form of a blog/twitter account/social media page and though I would rather spend time writing stories I suppose it's time I collated my successes and made a page that, hopefully, a publisher/agent will read one day. Happy reading!

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