Let me start by warning you that I have a very bad case of January-itis. I feel a bit Eeyore, and apologise for such an rubbish start to my first blog (hate that term, sounds like something that happens when you sneeze) of 2019.
“This writing business. Pencils and what-not.
Over-rated, if you ask me.
Nothing in it.”
(Eeyore once said, and, at the moment, I couldn’t agree more.)
This month I’ve mostly started things, then re-started them, had a bash, given up and tried to start again. What I’ve achieved is a massive pile of rubbish. Looking over my shoulder I can see a month’s worth of screwed up attempts. I’m currently in touching distance of giving up.
OK, OK, put your violins down for a second, because…
Firstly: The quantity of screwed up Chapter 5, 6 and 7 printouts had become overwhelming, a fire hazard even. I’ve stopped pressing print, in the vain hope my words will re-organise themselves magically into some kind of wonderful prose worthy of a Booker prize. I’ve deployed black bin bags, broken out the hoover and discovered a desk under all that paper. And, I now know what I don’twant to say and how I don’t want to start it, and that I need to ditch a few of my characters (didn’t like them anyway). So to conclude: it’s no good writing tens-of-thousands of words, if those tens-of-thousands of words don’t really grab a reader where they need grabbing. (Some of the words are grab-worthy, but there’s definitely a wheat and chaff situation I need to sort.)
Secondly: just putting on your trainers and flopping round the block dragging your Christmas over-indulgence with you does feel rubbish. The longer you stagger the more it hurts, in fact it feels like you might die. But, last week whilst out shuffling again, when I checked my watch, it said 8 miles (we won’t go into the time, at the moment I’m measuring my runs in days), 8-actual-miles, my feet weren’t burning, my toes weren’t numb and I hadn’t finished all my Jelly Babies, there were still three left, which I ate, straight away. Home was a mere four more miles away, and, flying on sugar, I made it without phoning for a friend/paramedic/lifeboat. It turns out that, eventually, your legs do get the message “one foot in front of the other, repeat (a lot)” - that all those horrible, cold, endless, lonely (am I selling running to you?) chugs around the block, work. It’s two more weeks until the Llanelli Half Marathon, there’s a chance, if they keep the finish open until tea-time, I might actually cross it!
I hope, dear Reader, that you don’t get snowed in, if you do hunker down with a good book, I’ll be under several scarves and a blanket reading The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon. Will let you know how I get on with that next month.
(A good book suggestion, The House With Old Furniture)
Dry January, is boring. D’you think we’ve made our point? Can we stop now?
Still trying (failing) to tackle my sugar habit. Haven’t found anything yet, that fills the gap quite like a cappuccino and a couple of digestives. Having a go at Tom Kerridge’s new book Fresh Start, can recommend the Turkey Schnitzel, avoid the beef and stout stew thing still chewing three days later. And the Smalls haven’t forgiven me (Tom Kerridge) for adding avocados to their chocolate mousse. So it’s going well.
Wish me (and thousands of other crazy running people, especially the ones flying round with TROTS on their vest (running club not stomach complaint)) luck for the Llanelli half, I’ll see you next month…