I got a little bit of writing done tonight, and none of my novel written yesterday.

Tonight it was because of Josh’s school trip (it’s tomorrow – they’re going to Ixworth House near Bury St Edmunds) and he’s very excited. We laid out his clothes for tomorrow before getting ready for bed; we checked that he had all the right items packed in his bag – waterproof coat, sun hat, money for a souvenir etc.

But then I was called back to his room by the cry of ‘I can’t go! I’m too stupid. I’ll mess it all up again!’

And the problem? He’d been going over it in his head and had got worried about not going in school uniform. What if we’d got the message wrong? Nothing I could say would get him to relax – in the end we agreed that we’ll keep a look out from the window tomorrow morning to see what his class mates are wearing as they go past. He was so wound up by all this that it was nearly 10:00 by the time that I could leave him.

I’d forgotten how stressful it is being six!

So that was tonight’s writing curtailed. Yesterday, I didn’t write because my mind insisted on drumming out ideas for a different book! The story had been popping in and out of my head all day, and as soon as I could get a chance to sit down to write the novel, all I could think about was this new book. Chunks of dialogue, events and characters  kept getting in the way of the journey across the fens by river that I was trying (and wanting!) to describe.

It took me far too long to realise that I should have just gone with the flow and written out my ideas in full. In the end, though, I gave up on the river and sketched an outline for the other book. If I ever finish this one, I’ll have something to move on to…

Goes to show how little we (that’s Josh and I) are in control of our own minds. Josh can persaude himself that he doesn’t want to go on a school outing he’s been looking forward to for weeks because of an imagined mistake and I can’t bring myself to focus on the work in hand because I can’t stop myself thinking about a totally different project!

If only I could channel my mental energy where I want it to go, instead of having to fight against myself to get on with what I’m doing. If writing this novel was something I didn’t want to do, I wouldn’t mind so much – as it is, there’s no sense to it.


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Filed under Children, Motivation, Self sabotage, Writing

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