Can you believe I’ll be 26 this weekend? I can’t! It feels like two minutes ago I turned 25. I still feel like I’m a wee little teenager, and judging by the amount of times I get ID’d, I must look it, too! I don’t know whether to be insulted or overjoyed when the cashiers in Morrisons question as to whether I am old enough to purchase a bottle of rose. It seems to be happening less and less, though, which is a little worrying. Either that, or they know me as a regular – still, the worry remains.
26 sounds very grown-up. As a small(er) child, when I thought about my mid-twenties-self, I imagined a future with a house and a good job and a nice gentleman friend and maybe some little sproglets… oh, who am I kidding? I wanted to be a writer, and not so long ago I had this lofty idea to be the youngest person to win the Booker Prize. Considering Eleanor Catton won it in 2008 with The Luminaries at the grand old age of 28, that’s maybe not the best idea. Though I had formerly thought she won it at 26, so there’s hope for me yet!
At 26, I do feel like I’m doing the grown up things: I have a mortgage, I have bills to pay, and I even am responsible for the lives of two little monsters, Luna and Maura. Hangovers seem to last for days and after about an hour of wearing high heels my feet hurt, whereas I’m sure before I could dance from 10pm till 3am in the most statuesque of stilettos.
It’s a curious thing: I feel no closer to having my life “figured out”, mainly because I think that’s a false concept. I’ve worked in lots of jobs, some normal and some a little stranger, and I’ve made some decisions which I won’t count as bad or good because they have got me to this point. There will be more decisions to make down the line, but we’ll broach those when we get to them. At the moment, the big dream dominates my little life. Sure, I would love to get back into horse riding, and go to self defence classes, and get proper singing lessons, and relearn the violin, and join a choir, but all of that sucks on the biggest resource: my time.
Now see, if I was a proper blogger, I’d have a picture of a clock here. But I’m not and I don’t, so here’s the yellow lily that has come into bloom in my garden!
The big dream persists. I have redrafted thirty chapters for MFB, which has included a good deal of shuffling and shunting, cutting and pasting, so the point I am at in the story is about 8 chapters lighter than previously. I am also at the point where I would like other people to read my work. Now that’s a scary prospect. Usually I’m quite furtive about these things; when I crept around meeting with mortgage advisers and going on house viewings, I tried to do it incognito in case it all went wrong and blew up in my face. Having looked very closely at my draft one stuff, I definitely know MFB was in no fit state to be regarded by outside eyes at that point; I’m not wholly sure if it is at this point, but it needs to be done. If anyone out there would like a read and offers themselves as an objective guinea pig, please do get in touch.
My aim for 26 will be to finish MFB and decide the route down which to travel: self-publish or traditional. That’s a comparison in my mind that is constantly bubbling away; while we’re a good way off being presentable, it’s never too early to think about it.
The main goal, though, is to charge onwards. I need to finish my second draft before I do anything else. While I may not have a deadline as such, I have a self-imposed one, and it draws ever nearer. Any motivation will be much appreciated!
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