Saturday, 24 October 2009

waiting and procrastinating

I've just been down to check the post (before you say it, I know, I know, there is a postal strike on). I wouldn't usually bother. I don't tend to get any interesting post unless I've ordered something from ebay. Its all the bills I can't manage on-line, payslips and general boring nonsense that reminds me I'm a grown-up, but at the moment, I am waiting for a letter. I would be quite excited if I wasn't so irritated by the whole process. See, I've applied for this thing at work...lets call it a talent management programme. Basically, if you can prove you've got potential, they will spend two years trying to exploit this and send you on secondments and to India and...well, its just something else to do that's a bit different from my day job and will help me pass the time until I retire or become a best-selling author and can jack the whole thing in. I really, really, really want to get on it but its been dragging on for such a long time its farcical. We were supposed to get the info in May, it came on the last day of May. So I applied in June. Was interviewed in August and had my assessment centre the week before last. Every time they've told us we'll hear about the outcome, they've missed their own deadline by about 3 weeks. They've also, bizarrely, taken it upon themselves to communicate with us by post. By post? Why not by carrier pigeon? That's equally archaic. Honestly. So, we're supposed to find out at some point soon. Hence me checking the post (there was nothing there, incidentally). But now I'm just going to be up a height until I find out. I hate it. I hate waiting. I especially hate waiting for something which experience teaches me will be delayed, through no fault of mine but through the ineptitude of others. Grrrrrr.

There are some kinds of waiting that I don't really mind. For example, I don't mind waiting for a bus, if the weather is nice and I have a book (I never go anywhere without a book. If I leave the house and realise I've forgotten it, I can get quite panicky. What if I had to wait somewhere?)

There are some kinds of waiting that I bring on myself. You know the kind. When I really should be doing something but I just put it off and put it off and play on the internet or read or watch tv instead. Procrastination is indeed a self-imposed form of waiting. But I don't mind that at all. In fact, by default, it is one of my main hobbies. Take now, for instance. I switched on the computer at about 9.30 to do some writing. I drafted an outline for a short story (I generally don't do that but I am trying to write stuff for magazines, with a very specific audience and therefore it is easier to actually plan) and since then I have had about 4 cups of tea, done 2 loads of washing and discovered this...

which I think is fab. But its not what I sat down to do. I definitely need to get over the whole waiting to write thing that I've got going on. Procrastination never wrote a novel. Sitting down at the computer and actually typing wrote a novel. With this in mind, I've decided that next month I am going to take part in National Novel Writing Month ( The aim is to write 50,000 during November. The theory is that first drafts are generally rubbishy, but you need to write them to get on to the second and third drafts, which are generally a lot better. So fingers crossed I will get to the end of November and have 50,000 words, which I really hope will have a beginning, a middle and an end, some interesting characters and potential for a real, live book. I normally talk myself out of my writing, decide its rubbish and then just stop and do something else, so I'm hoping this will help me get over it. I haven't written anything down yet (you're allowed to plan, although I'm no good at plans as sooner or later, it stops being a plan and becomes a story with description and dialogue, as its more interesting to show the characters doing something than tell myself about it). I've had the story in my head for a few months, and my characters are now starting to have conversations with each other, which I fervently hope they'll still be doing when I start to write. It should be an interesting experience, and its all part of the "absolutely have to do something before I'm 30" mission that I'm on. Needless to say, I'll keep you the meantime, have a poem...


by the phone,
even though it’s a mobile
on vibrate and turned up loudly,
checked religiously,
like a new mother round a sickly baby
up every five minutes –
is it still breathing?
has it got enough batteries?

Waiting, for a call, a text,
anything, to say
I enjoyed the other night,
would like to see you again,
buy you flowers,
take you to dinner,
introduce you to my mother,
perhaps get married
or something.

going out of my mind with waiting,
my mind which is cramped,
cluttered thoughts of my ideal man who
calls me Princess,
brings me chocolates,
and has mastered the art of interesting conversation
(even though I don’t know his surname
and am not even sure I could
pick him out of a line-up).

holding my breath til I’m blue in the face
with waiting,
think I might burst
if the phone doesn’t ring
(not sure what I’d do if he actually called)

and I’m waiting,
and waiting.

Like I don’t have anything better to do.

The phone beeps,
and I feel sick
and I can’t breath
one message received

and I’m waiting.

1 comment:

cally jane studio said...

I LOVE YOUR BLOG CAKES!! hehe, bloody good luck with the work thing!! Let me know as soon as you know! And that 50,000 word novel month will be great, you must do'll be a great exercise in dedication! (i'm now humming the tune for record breakers)...
I love that postsecret blog! Some are really moving, i might follow that one xxx