Chipping away, chipping away.
I’ve not been able to blast the home stretch as much as I would have liked to. There’s been the odd few hundred words here and the one hundred word chunk there. It’s okay though, I’m not feeling it as much of a battle as I was halfway through.
The last few session have got me thinking about myself at the age of thirteen or fourteen. The kid who would sit there in his room with one lamp burning until the early hours of every morning. Every single other person in the house had long since (sensibly) gone to bed and were asleep. I’d be up writing in a pad with a pen in my hand. I didn’t even have a computer or a laptop to edit anything with back then. All the stories I wrote were in ink with single words and paragraphs struck out.
I’d write whilst drinking coffee which was a recent introduction to my life. I’d done work experience in a local library and, upon turning up on the Monday morning, I’d been asked if I wanted a cup of coffee. I recall thinking that rejecting this offer might make me seem awkward so I’d agreed. Having never really had a cup of coffee in my life I wasn’t sure how I preferred it. I essentially said no to every follow up question.
So it arrived black with no sugar.
And I spent the afternoon skipping around the place filing books whilst on a caffeine buzz.
Dear reader, it has remained my one true vice.
I’d write whilst listening to late night talk radio. I loved the sense of danger and the truly strange people that would sometimes be allowed on air. With the internet today everybody who has an opinion can broadcast it within seconds. Back then you might have been speaking on the airwaves rather than tapping on Twitter. I loved how different people spoke and how the conversation flowed. Dave from Cardiff might be convinced there’s a ghost in his kitchen. Jenny from Newcastle would phone in about the aliens again.
Most of all though I’d write whilst nursing the burning desire to ‘be a writer’. At that age I was hopeful I could find a way to get a career out of making up stories. It often crossed my mind that I might have given up on that idea as I got older because it seemed so distant and more than a bit silly.
Fourteen year old me would be happy that thirty seven year old me is far from giving up. He’d be over the moon that there’s nearly a first draft of a book finished.
Every time I sit down at a keyboard I’ll have a smile for that kid.
Because one day we’ll make it.