Thursday, 18 December 2008

December is the busiest month


December is always a busy month for me. I was badly organised enough to give birth twice in December. My babies are about to turn thirteen and sixteen respectively and for a couple of months I will be the proud but harassed mother of four teenagers. As if that were not distraction enough, I have to host a couple of parties, cook lunch for twenty people on Christmas day, and clear enough space for my sister and her family who are coming to stay for five weeks. OK I know that’s not such a big deal but it challenges my limited domestic skills.
I always leave everything till the last minute, so this year I made a concerted effort to submit my new novel in November and finish the proofs of next years’ book in early December just so I could shop till I dropped, do battle with the twin demons of Chaos and Grime, sort out my ongoing drain problem and do all those jobs I only ever do when I’ve got guests coming. I’m not going to tell you what they all are because then you’ll know what a slob I am, but one of the easier ones involves degreasing my cooker...
So, I have a head full of to-do lists, cupboards filled to bursting with stuff yet to be decluttered and the panicky sensation that I have forgotten something vital, then yesterday I went and had an IDEA. This was a bit of a shock as I’m not much prone to these. It arrived unbidden in those murky moments between sleeping and waking and immediately drove everything else out of my feeble mind. I had a bath, came downstairs in my dressing gown and started typing. At some point I remembered I had to go to a drinks party and must not allow myself to be entirely seduced by this shiny, sparkling definitely-bestselling- quality IDEA that I did not need to have in December. I ran back upstairs, swearing quietly to myself, ran a bath, got into the bath, and only then realised that I’d done all that washing business already...
I think this proves that I am losing ‘it’ whatever ‘it’ is and that the best way to have a new story idea is to have no time for one, no interest in writing it and about a million other urgent things to do...

4 comments:

Anne Rooney said...

I agree - story ideas always come when there is no time to deal with them, and never when you set aside a week or two in a secluded house you've rented for an extended period of writing. Ideas are at least as recreant and perverse as teenagers!

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

Nevermind about the idea... your teenagers all look gorgeous Nicky, and if you can cope with all the hormones bursting around you in the house you can cope with anything... even degreasing a hob with one hand and typing with the other!

Nick Green said...

> I agree - story ideas always come when there is no time to deal with them


Ah - but this is not Sod's Law, I think it's cause and effect. When your brain is overheated it's natural that it should start throwing off sparks in random directions. All those life-stresses get the wheels turning and the coals glowing... if you follow me.

I'm sure the best cure for writer's block would be to start a new, highly stressful, full-time job.

Catherine Johnson said...

Hi Nicky, 5 weeks! That is amazing, I am in awe of your amazing skills!
Happy Christmas
Catherine