It’s really hard to write.
I started blogging almost four years ago due to sheer frustration, and with no one else to talk to about MS in such depth, having bored my dearest friends to death already.
I’d always wanted to write ever since one of my essays got an A+ when I was 12, and harboured visions of myself signing books, scattering bon-mots in interviews and generally being regarded as a leading light in a brand-new literary genre.
Now I’m coming to the end of my Master’s in Creative Writing and I’m not feeling very creative. At all.
I need to produce the beginnings of a novel – 6,000 words to be precise – plus a proposal and a critical reflection. Huh?
I have a few days off work to tackle the three assignments so this morning I got down to work: cat fed, three cups of coffee, quick look through Twitter, and I was ready. New document in Word. Title. Page One. Mess about with fonts for half an hour.
Time for another cup of coffee and loading the washing machine.
Back to the computer: ‘She entered the room slowly, gently feeling her way softly across the vast, huge, vaulted-ceilinged room. ‘Where are you? she asked with a solemnity belying her tender years.’
Cringe. More Mills & Boon than Martin Amis.
I backspaced. ‘She stands in the large room.’ Then, nothing. Delete everything. I cast my mind back to all the advice I’ve read:
- Write about what you know.
- Read a lot.
Ok. I know about:
A novel about a woman with a teenager who works in a chocolate factory and along with her trusty cat, solves crimes with astonishing detection?
Just as I was about to begin again, The Teenager thumped downstairs, gym-kitted and clutching his protein shake.
‘Goooood morning Mother. Off to work out. Need money. Ta.’
‘Hang on … I’m just finding the right word.’
‘Muuuuuum, gotta go – friends waiting. Money? Hello?’
‘Gah. I’ve lost the word.’
‘Mum! What’re you doing wearing my old Penguin t-shirt? What?! It’s from when I was fat – you promised me they had all gone to the charity shop. Muuuuum!’
‘You can only keep it if you promise never, ever to wear it when my friends are here. Promise? Too tragic.’
With a fiver in his hand for a protein bar, he was gone. And so had my train of thought.
Back to square one.
‘It was a very dark and stormy night with pin-needle rain, forking down upon the unfortunate souls who forged their way through the blackness towards possible fortitude and redemption.’