Friday, 15 September 2017

Yesterday and secret side projects

Yesterday was very traumatic for me. You see, my name is Chrissie and I am an addict - addicted to email and candy crush. Yesterday I was switching mobile provider while retaining my number and handset. I've never done that before so when I asked for a PAC code I thought it would unlock the phone. It didn't. I didn't realize what the problem was till I'd been without my fixes for over 2 hours, at which point I used an internet form to request an unlock code from my old provider. Their website said it would be 7-28 days to get a code. I nearly had a heart attack. Then I used their online chat function to see if there was a way to cut that time short and he told me it was more likely to be 24-72 hours. They unlocked it during the night and I woke up to an email telling me it was done, thank God.
But that wasn't all the trauma of yesterday as I got home to discover our central heating wasn't working. I don't know how M knew but he can be a bit of a hot house flower. Anyhow we do have a maintenance contract with British Gas so I had to quickly book a call out and luckily, because this happened in September not January we were able to get an appointment this morning, and I'm told it's all sorted now thanks to the installation of a new programmable thermostat and receiver. So that's a relief.
And now, OK, to the side project I've been banging on about without spilling the beans...
Since I was approximately 6 years old I've wanted to write fiction and since I left university I've been starting - and abandoning - novel after novel, feeling that I just didn't have the discipline (or the talent). A few months ago during my nearly a year unemployed I had an idea - that it might be better to start with a short story instead, just to find out if I could actually follow through with a beginning, middle and end, because quite seriously I've never before written an ending and I've only written bits of the middle by writing them out of order. I didn't do anything about it at that point because I was so depressed that my attempts to come up with possible story lines only produced stuff that might well have pushed me over the top into full-on self-harm.
But today I finished the first draft of a short story!!!
I was aiming for 5000 words and it's currently closer to 11000 words, but that's OK; my plan was to just get it all down somehow for the first draft as the first step in the bigger plan. The next step is editing and redrafting, which I expect to be quite painful, but again, I've never done it before because I never got that far. I have no idea if I can get it into a form that I'd ever be willing to let anyone read (and that's not really the point anyway.) I actually stuck to it and finished it! And enjoyed writing it and was excited to do it! Unlike past efforts it never felt like a drudge and it didn't intimidate me the way writing a whole book does. And even if it ends up hidden away in a drawer I feel like it might be the start of my continuing to write fiction in some form or other. So I am a happy happy bunny right now and will be at least until it's time to try to cut out about 5000 words :-). The advice I've read on the subject is to leave it to one side for a while so that I can read it more objectively when it's time to redraft it. So I plan to pick it up on Monday...
I know it's only a small achievement but I'm so happy!!!


  1. It's not small, it's very big and a hearty well done to you!
    J xxx

  2. How exciting. I've always loved writing in any form.

  3. I am delighted for you many people have told me I should write a book but I have neither the skill nor the discipline. I wish you every success the best I have managed was short stories for the spinone magazine. you can imagine what a huge circulation that has LOL

  4. I like this post, enjoyed this one thank you for posting.