I’ve heard of this happening to other writers, but for me it’s a first. It’s the middle of the night, and I’m drawn to the computer, taking the opportunity to write while the house is quiet.
It’s nearing the end of the July school holidays and these past few days, I feel like I’ve embodied Franz Kafka’s quote:
A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.
The last school term passed in a beautiful blur. I wrote constantly, not missing a single day. I managed to submit an entry to the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers, a few days before the cut-off date. I’ve never enjoyed a school term more.
But I’ve found these school holidays difficult. I’ve never felt so torn between the urge to write, and wanting to be a fun and relaxed member of the family – happy to do ‘stuff’.
I’ve been a touch grumpy. Okay, at times a little more than just a ‘touch’. I’ve been a tad resentful at the TV noise drifting into my writing space through the closed door. Nebulous thoughts are difficult to catch once that door is opened by someone seeking an answer to the obvious…
I’m pretty sure I swore under my breath at the materialisation of bread crumbs and scatterings of dried two-minute noodles near the kettle each time I broke for a cuppa. But worst of all was the feeling of guilt over spending time in front of the computer, while simultaneously doing everything in my power to keep the kids off theirs.
Eventually I gave up and spent a few days in the garden – long overdue anyway, and I’ll be grateful in a few months when the bed of giant sunflowers I planted is in full bloom. Family bike rides have been enjoyable, as were the celebrations for my daughter’s birthday.
And now that I’ve managed to carve out a few midnight hours to write, I feel calmer. Hopefully this doesn’t become a habit – I’m a woman who likes her sleep – but at least those quiet hours are there if, and when, I need them.