RIGHT. COME ON AIMEE. LET’S DO THIS.
That’s what I tell myself every day when I sit down at my computer and open my latest manuscript – which by the way, I think makes me sound a mixture of grown up and wanky.
I may also keep chanting it to myself as I type it into a message to my friend, skim through social media, and check my reviews.
Shit, there’s a new one. If it’s a good one I can have a biscuit with my cup of tea, if it’s not…
I’m not going to open it; instead I go to one of my other books – EEK I HAVE MORE THAN ONE YOU KNOW! I read a few reviews, the ones that fill me with motivational joy, that make me clap my hands and jump up and down. Then I go back to Dottie, who is sitting there waiting patiently for me to make her funny. Or that’s what I feel like sometimes. When I’m being a bit of a tool, I forget how to just write, and I stare at my screen worrying that Dottie isn’t funny anymore. Or more importantly, I’m not funny anymore.
I could spin a story, about Dottie staring at me, her wild curly hair and slightly frazzled blue eyes staring at me, waiting for me to tell her what to do next.
But that would sound even more wanky.
The truth is, I look at the screen, I read what I have written and it goes one of two ways. I will nod my head, turn on my music and set myself a target of 1k words then it’s time for a brew and a biscuit – and I was always going to have that biscuit.
Or, I read what I’ve written, groan, and go to my happy place, looking at Instagram. I might even go and photograph the cat, but the look of condemnation and pity on her face causes me to close my filters down and go back to my desk.
COME ON AIMEE. IT’S JUST ONE THOUSAND WORDS. THEN YOU CAN HAVE A TREAT.
I aim for 2k words a day. That’s all I need to do. So TECHNICALLY I should achieve that in a school day, and still have time to do some ironing/ food shopping/clean the house. Or more realistically piss about on social media and ASOS while watching Netflix pretending that it’s research. Of course, you could argue that How To Get Away With Murder isn’t research for comedy books, but you know what, I’m sure it teaches me how to plot.
Back at my desk, or in my bedroom, or the lounge or the kitchen – wherever I’ve decided I am going to get the most work done that day, I attempt to focus.
THIS IS MY DREAM. I LOVE TO WRITE.
I nod. I press play on my playlist and I start to write.
I should just pop some washing in the machine.
While I’m there I empty the dishwasher, and think about what I’ve just written. It’s rubbish, I know that, Dottie knows that. I go back, I delete it and start again.
I wonder what that review said.
It doesn’t matter. Keep writing.
I make it to about the five hundred mark, before I cave – WHAT? It’s half way through! I make Mr Aimee read it while I walk around the house pretending not to see the dried cheerios that have somehow made it upstairs – we haven’t had cheerios for weeks. After about FIFTY MILLION YEARS (because he’s selfishly been doing some work) my phone buzzes, I take a deep breath and read what he says.
I read it; I spend a bit of time pissing about on social media before knocking out another 1,500 words.
I AM ON FIRE.
In fact, I’m doing so well I just keep going, only pausing to go for a wee. That’s when I hear a buzzing from the kitchen. It’s my emergency “don’t forget the kids” alarm which, erm, I obviously had again.
Luckily I set it to allow me the grace to pack swimming bags/get snacks/press snooze about five times. By the time I’m at the school gates my head is in a bit of a daze, not really thinking about real life, but what I was just writing. But it’s quickly forgotten by two loud voices demanding the snacks, which I left by the front door.
From the rest of the day, instead of switching the laptop or computer off like I always say I will, I grab snatched moments – while I’m cooking dinner, while they’re not eating their dinner, while they’re in the shower.
And it’s only when they’re in bed, that I realise the laundry never made it from the washing machine to the dryer, and there is no actual food – but luckily there’s gin – and I vow to be more organised tomorrow, even writing a list.
But we all know, if I’m going to focus fast, I’ll just have go to our local costa instead – where the teacakes are good, and the wifi is pants. In fact, I may dedicate my next book to them.