When technology acts up, it can nearly always be sorted out by restarting and jiggling the wires. But when I start to act up, where is my reboot button? What wires do I need to wiggle? As I need to get into the swing of editing again and cannot concentrate for more than a millisecond.
I have just opened the novel document and Word tells me the last time I clicked it open was on the 17th April. Ok, so 9 days, not a complete disaster, but still a rather long time in-between visits. I’ve started (again) at chapter 4, as I have had enough good feedback with the beginning chapters to resist touching them again. So, chapter 4. Only 18 chapters left to go. And that new idea to fit in the middle. Right…. Let’s go!
I start re-reading the first paragraph and my mum comes home. She starts talking to me as soon as she enters the house, and is still talking up the stairs, and into my room. Unsurprisingly my attention has gone by the time I get back to my computer. I get the feeling my mum thinks I am bonkers staying inside while the rest of London basks in sunshine. ‘Haven’t you been out, it’s a nice day! Don’t hide away from the world playing on your computer!’
Agh – it is the word ‘playing’ which ties me up in knots. When my brother lived at home, in ancient times long past, he played games on his computer – the sort of games that loaded in a cassette recorder, which you could crash and add extra lives by writing something clever into the script along the lines of: ‘POKE=Extra lives!’ Why it always seemed to be the word ‘poke’ I have no idea, but my mum got the idea from then on in that computers are for games, and it has taken a while for that viewpoint to shift.
I know she fully believes I can write a novel, but sometimes I don’t think she realises how utterly serious I am about it. I have given up practically everything in order to do this over the last two years – financial security, owning property – and as I watch friends marry and follow a natural progression to have children, sometimes I worry about that, too. But I tend to think everyone follows their own path for a reason, and this is mine – good or bad! And so I sit inside when the sun shines, and ‘play’ with words – perhaps there is not much difference after all. Apart from my mum not knowing anyone else with an odd daughter like me, I guess.
And so I re-start again at chapter 4. My goal for today is to get that chapter sorted. In fact, if I can get a chapter a week done then I might be all finished by (runs to the calendar) August 22nd. Oh blimey...