The heavy, debilitating cold that I thought was going to strike me down for the next week has departed as quickly as it surfaced and I am glad. Not so much that I feel better and can breathe properly, but more that the rhythm and momentum that I’ve built up hasn’t come grinding to a halt. I hate that. Everything stops, all the good stuff goes out the window and then the slow process has to start all up again when I’m better. And it’s never the same as what it was maybe going to be before.
I’m making progress with the latest project and this is a breakthrough. I have berated myself for years at how unproductive I am during term-time. It’s like my job is one massive procrastination and I can justify my existence simply through working my arse off in my classroom.
Has been that I wait in anticipation for the end of term to come and then spend the little slice of time where my girls are still at school to write furiously throughout the days that I steal back. It is wildly productive and virtually all of my writing to date has come from those brief snatches of time. What I’ve always known, though, is that these periods are not enough.
My waking life is full of the desire to shape the old ideas that float about in my mind and the new ones that are thrown at me by the world. Until recently it was enough to journal it all out of my system for some unseen descendant to pick up and maybe bother to appreciate. It takes the edge off but it’s nowhere near enough.
So I steal time now – I journal when I can between lessons and I sketch out ideas for the latest post. I let my days happen and I enjoy my work. I know the most wonderful young people and I’m fortunate to have them listen to me. When the day ends I pick up my own wonderful girls and we do the things that need to be done in the evenings through the week: clubs and duties and visits and whatever: the bits and pieces that life is made of.
We eat and laugh and read and play together and when they’re gone to bed and the house breathes its tired and contented sigh I sit at my desk in the room off to the left of the hallway; the room that looks out over the front and away to the church tower, and I settle into my writing. I post my blog if there’s one to go and then I get serious with whatever project I’m on. At the moment it’s Lolly.
I write until 11 every night and in compensation I allow myself a little lie-in until 6.10, rather than the 5.40 that i had been used to.
I sleep like a baby and my dreams are fed by the ideas that I have stirred up. I wake with purpose knowing that my day has a rhythm and that I am writing during term time.