Doubts and Procrastination

So I’m home. Back to the old routine. The girls are off to school, the eldest having stomped off in tears because a school concert to be given in honour of the departing head mistress (newly announced) falls on the date of a planned trip to New York. First world problems…

That old enemy, procrastination, has popped by, helped himself to a cup of tea and some toast. What is it about home life that leaves the door wide open to this guy? I’ve scanned the 24 hour news. Almost succumbed to Victoria Derbyshire, but pulled back from that particular abyss. Twittered and Fcbk’d. Checked my e-mails. Bank. LinkedIn. WordPress. Made another cup of tea and fell into some idle rumination.

It’s that impostor syndrome thing again. I worry that I might not actually, really, be any good at this writing lark. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a pity party. But. I had a wee peek at other blogs in the last couple of days and was instantly struck by the wonderful prose and in one instance an effortless, elegant flow of words in which I found myself gliding along on the thoughts of another and thought. Jeez. That’s brilliant. My middle aged brain, creaking along on synapses connected by rope and old wooden planks, just doesn’t turn words around like that anymore.

It might be my West of Scotland upbringing. You could tell me I’m great and I’ll say thank you, but inwardly I’d see a compliment as a transient thing and in that ingrained ‘don’t ever get above yourself’ way I’ll say ‘meh, that’s not really me.’ You could put me in an open-top car in New York’s 5th Avenue and treat me to the kind of ticker tape parade reserved for the first men on the moon, but I’d be looking around for who the good guys were and the effect would only be temporary.

As temporary as the feel good factor I took back from Moniack Mhor. Thousands of words and, for the first time, a definitive list of chapters for a completed book. A roadmap to completion. Huzzah!

Now? I’m sitting in the dining room, notebook and pens slouched on the table, propped up on their elbows, indolently examining their fingernails and waiting for me to get off my backside. The roadmap now feels like a barricade rather than a way forward.

And then I get an e-mail. From someone at Hospital Radio. She wants to know if I have any more short stories like the one that won the Weegie Wednesday competition. I send them a couple, but tell her they aren’t much cop. I’m doing darker stuff now and these are all that are left of the light hearted comedic kind.

And she replies. Uses words like ‘brilliant writing’ (I think she must be easily pleased) and ‘laughed so much.’ And it makes me smile, because I have met her and she is a wonderful light hearted funny woman, and I’m glad she liked them. She wants to make them into ten minute radio plays like the first one and I imagine folk in hospital having a shitty time, maybe having a smile and maybe I’ll make a wee difference for ten minutes of someone’s life.

And then I think. ‘Don’t get above yerself. Most likely discharge themselves after the first minute…’

But then, I’d have single handedly solved the bed blocking problem.


I’m picking up my pen…

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