Sick, sick, sick

winya 1

I am the size of a world
But I balance on a pin
My parents never loved me
I hear horses on the stairs
Coming to get me
There is something on my face
I need to get it off

flu, aged 7

So I’m sick. But this is adult sick. Not scary, I’m gonna die, I need to see the doctor sick. Just aching bones and an inability to do anything sick. But that’s the thing. Being sick when you are an adult is nothing like being sick when you are a kid.
When I was sick as a kid, I got a day off school, bundled up on the sofa watching daytime telly that made no sense to my ill, seven year old mind. My mum nourished me on hot Ribena and semolina and hugs (because contrary to my delirious rantings, my parents loved very much!) Even now when I start to feel a scratch in my throat, I reach straight for the Ribena.

I’ve got to go to work
I’ve got the keys to the shop
I’ve got to open up
I’ve got to cash the tills
I’m the only one who can do it
I’ve got to go to work

flu, aged 22

When you are sick as an adult, you have adulting to do. Work. Kids. Home. Food. This sucks.
My Moo-Child has just recovered from a nasty bout of chicken-pox. Her blisters looked excruciating. She couldn’t even sit on the toilet because they hurt her so much. This is the worst, most heart-wrenching, exhausting and head-fucking part of being a parent.
It seems like everyone’s kids are sick. And as much as you want to be a nurturing and comforting parent, providing unconditional love to your sick child, you find yourself screaming at them when they have climbed out of their oat-bath for the fifth time, when all you are trying to do is help them and you haven’t had any sleep and you are coming down with something yourself.

I am only existing from pill to pill

tonsillitis, age 35

Being sick when you are an adult, kids or not, is awful, because all you want is your mum to come and look after you.

Thank you Mum, for all the times you looked after me when I was sick x

To all the adults out there who are really sick, not self-pitying, my glands are swollen and I’ve got razor-blades in my throat sick, but really, really sick, whether in body or mind, you are amazing, how you keep getting up every morning, doing what needs to be done x

And finally, to all the mums with kids that are life or death sick, coping everyday with a precarious reality those on the outside cannot begin to understand. I don’t know how you do it, and probably, neither do you x

Failure. What’s the worst that can happen?

So I wrote a book. Now what? People all over the world write books every day. That’s the easy part. The fun part.  Letting the words flow, the characters talk to you, letting your creativity loose and seeing how far you can get.

20’00 words. 50’000 words. 80’000 words.

These milestones were something to be proud of, to share, to shout from the rooftops.

And then you finish. And the next thing people (by people, I’m referring to non-writers, not that writers aren’t people, but…oh you know what I mean) want to know is ‘When is your book coming out?’

Like it’s that simple. Write a book. Get it published. Get a multi-book deal. Start holidaying in Tuscany with J.K. Rowling and wiping your arse with fifty pound notes.

Margaret Atwood said word after word after word is power. But I feel like the more words I write, the less powerful I am.

I think about the book when I go to sleep. I think about the book when I wake up.

Is it any good? Sometimes, I think hell yeah, it’s good. I’ve written the exact book I would want to read. Then, other days, mid-edit, I want to hide from myself in shame at the awful words leaping up and assaulting my eyes.

Is it riddled with clichés? Do I tell instead of show? Are my characters stereotypes?

I make out it’s no big deal. The success is in having written a book. Most people don’t even do that, so who cares if I get published? But, of course, that’s not true. I’m not writing to make money or to be famous or any other ridiculous thing that will never happen.

I write, so that people can read my stories. Plain and simple.

I know how it feels to fall in love with a book. To visit a place I’ve never been, meet imaginary people that feel as real as my own family. I want to make strangers feel this about my book.

I love it. I want others to love it too.

In the 10 months I have been writing seriously, I’ve had over ten short story rejections. I’ve recently sent the first chapters of my novel for open house submissions at two publishers and have yet to hear anything back. I’m sure they will be rejections too.

I am editing, re-writing, honing and streamlining my novel every day. I will not give up.

Failure is not an option, because the only way I will fail is if I don’t try everything within my power to write the best book I can, and get it out in the real world to be read and, hopefully, enjoyed.

It is not an impossible dream. It will just take hard work and thick skin.

I hope I am up to the challenge.

 n-0

Congratulations! For reading this post to the end, you get a super-secret special bonus! It’s as exciting as completing Sonic The Hedgehog for the first time.

Here are my Top Five Spectacular Fails:

1.       When Natasha Beddingfield sang ‘hyperbole’ to rhyme with ‘Superbowl’.

2.       That time BNP leader and extreme-right wing racist Nick Griffin posted a video of The Manic Street Preachers  ‘If You Tolerate This, Your Children Will Be Next’, an anti-fascist song about the Spanish Civil War, to his Twitter page.

3.       Alanis Morrisette’s song ‘Ironic’, in which none of the irritating scenarios she describes are actually ironic. How ironic

4.       Everything Ed Milliband did during his 2014 election campaign. In fact, 80% of everything that all British politicians do, all the time.

5.       #susanalbumparty. If you are not aware of this story, look it up. Go on, I dare you.