There are never enough hours in the day are there? It’s such a challenge to get through the stuff you have to do and reach the things that you want to do. I do say this rather sheepishly because, what with my toy job and all my children being at school, I have rather lost sight of what it’s like to be so busy that you can’t think straight, so busy that one more request will bring your whole world crashing down on top of you. But it’s all relative isn’t it, so notwithstanding that my current lifestyle is somewhat more pedestrian than once it was, I shall continue with my train of thought.
I am approaching the end of a two week half term holiday. It’s been fine. Only half the children are at home this week and they are well beyond needing constant attention. In fact, as long as I stick my nose in on them every hour or so and produce food at regular intervals, they pretty much organise themselves these days. But children at home inevitably means more chores and so the time that I usually set aside to pursue my own activities has been severely curtailed.
And I have something that I want to be doing – really badly. What I really want to be doing is getting on with novel number 2. You may recall that last year I had lots of fun trying to write a book. It was so much fun that I’m having another go. This time, however, rather than writing about generic things that could happen to anyone in a vaguely described northern town, I have a real location and characters with interests wider than their family and friends.
This has opened up a whole new chapter for me in my favourite game of ‘Let’s pretend I’m someone that I’m not’. I am having to do research just like a real writer. I have spent ages following virtual tours of places so that I can describe them with a convincing level of detail. I have pulled up pictures of houses and churches in the relevant area to get a feel for the type of architecture and materials that they might be built in. I’ve even had to work out which clocks you could hear chime in a particular spot. It’s a hoot!
And this takes me back to my original theme of lack of time. Of course, I’m not an author. I’m a stay at home mum with four children and a long list of domestic tasks to complete on a daily basis. Although I read that proper writers take themselves off to their inspirational studies after breakfast with a steady supply of strong coffee and an instruction not to be disturbed until lunchtime, this is not how it is for me. Either I leap out of bed at some unfriendly hour to grab and hour or so of peace before they all arrive demanding breakfast or I snatch twenty minutes here and there between loads of washing which is not conducive to creativity.
I long for a whole morning, or even an hour, when I could just put pen to paper with my mind entirely focused on the task in hand. My little ideas, starved of attention, are starting to flutter off out of the window to pastures new. Maybe next week I will let my fantasy life do a swap with my real role and shut myself up at my desk, letting the rest of my world go to rack and ruin. Oh. You have no idea how tempting that is!