It is fast approaching the time of year when I find it most difficult to blog and write. The days are warm (yes, I convince myself of that) and long. I’d rather be outside with a G&T and a good book than in front of a computer. I’d rather be watching the tennis or listening to the cricket than creating free-flowing words. My whole body and timetable fold in on themselves, barely permitting me breath and space to think. End of term is compounded by being end of year, with a flurry of activities and school events that demand my attention.
All this, and I am supposed to be devoting my spare time to writing?
I have a few moments now, as the entire family are out at individual events. I, who seemingly have no social life to speak of, am left in a quiet home with a guilt complex. Yes, I ought to be writing. But I also ought to be doing the washing that has piled up all week whilst I’ve been working on other projects. Or doing the ironing that is the natural consequence. Or tidying away all the children’s detritus (or throwing it in the bin in despair since they never tidy up after themselves: tell me, at what age does that kick in?) I should be doing the washing-up, or watering the hanging baskets, or weeding the front drive. I could finish sorting the spare room, deciding which pictures to hang on the wall and whether I can afford or justify having them framed, or spend an hour hemming the curtains I began last year (or maybe the year before).
And there is paperwork everywhere! How does that happen, in an age of emails, computers and ‘paperless society’? I should be sorting out insurance documents and keeping the family finances up-to-date, and filing away bills and statements and instructions. Schools demand signatures and (more often than not) payment for another trip or fundraising activity. Meetings require minutes to be written or read; and forms to be filled in, in order to tick all the correct boxes and please a paperless nobody elsewhere in the system.
There is house guilt. There is administration guilt. And there is writing guilt. I have a book to promote, a talk to prepare, a sequel to complete, a blog to update. There are words flying around my head, some of which would work beautifully in a short story, or a poem. There are inspiring competitions to enter, with the hope of recognition that spurs me on.
But shhh! There’s no-one here! Yes, I may be Billy-no-mates, but I’ve got the best company anyone can desire: a book and a cup of tea.
And no-one to tell me off.
(At least, not yet.)
Forgive me, but I’ve an important date with a good friend this evening.