Last night I lay in bed worrying about my work.
I am behind and I can’t seem to catch up. I shouldn’t even be writing this blog post but I am because it’s part confession, part avoidance.
This year has been a doozy, with a husband and child both fighting illness and injury, and both progeny starting significant years at school. The battle to keep two of my family focussed and here, has been exhausting. I am exhausted and yet I need to earn a living. I need to make money. I need to keep the power on.
I feel like I am behind in everything. All plans are are in pencil unless told otherwise. I can’t commit to next week because I don’t know if:
a) I will have any money
b) If I have had any sleep
c) If I can leave people alone by themselves or if they can look after themselves
My days consist of waking up hoping today I can tackle the workload and then watching it slip away, like a handful of slime.
Writers say, ‘Sit down and do the work, it’s a job, not a privilege.’ I used to believe in this when I had the luxury of no responsibilities. Now I am in battle and it’s impossible to find the time without the nagging thoughts of everything else that needs to be done.
Dinner, school, money, washing, cleaning, money, dinner, school, doctors, money. Rinse. Repeat.
Part of the pressure is that my last book, Close Up, didn’t sell very well, which is awful because I do think it’s my best book and it certainly got the best reviews. I’m proud of that book but it’s failure means I have to try something new. Something that pushes the pram down the stairs and something that sells.
Go and write something that will be successful, is the mantra I hear when I sit at the keyboard. You can’t do it, a voice says. Yes you can, says another. It’s like living with a talk show panel in my head. The fun one, the negative one, the conservative one, the one who smoked pot in high school, the smart one, the cynical one. All are on the uncomfortable sofa of my mind and all of them are a pack of interfering bitches.
Doubt is a son of a bitch and it seems to be with me most days. I am not depressed. That much I know and I am supremely grateful for it but I am exhausted, lonely, pondering, and questioning.
Onwards. Onwards. Onwards.