Friday, August 12, 2011


Last night I felt wretched.

I am currently on holiday having taken time away from the office but, for the first time in my working life I'm not going anywhere; no summer abroad, no lazing by the pool or clubbing at night as fat tears of regret roll down my sunburned fucking cheeks while orange women crowbarred into tiny skirts avoid me like I'm Joe Merrick in a thong.

The plan instead was to stay at home where I'd wake up early, hit the gym, then go to my room and write like the blazes, finishing the spectacular novel I'm eeking out like a bowel movement in the intestines of a constipated bull elephant.

I've been writing this fucker for several years now.

I knew, deep down, that if I'd managed to write even just an hour a day, a minor miracle would've occurred. Even every other day would've been a vast achievement. Instead, I managed a pretty good first few days only to atrophy into a kind of late-waking limbo where I'd watch crap on YouTube only to migrate at a late hour to my sofa to watch films once I was pregnant (and vaguely sick) with chocolate.

So it should've come as no surprise that this morning, at 2am, I found myself lying in bed having just got in it, mentally whining like a mardy teen emo except my issues were older and more boring.

I thought about my American ex, and checked my email. Despite the globally-publicised English riots, I noted that she hadn't dropped me a line to see if all was well. That would probably be because I told her 6 months ago to go fuck herself and never contact me again. And she hadn't. So I pondered another ex and had a quick stalk on my iPhone. There she was, still looking lovely in her nice black evening gown as she stood in an airy conservatory with her husband next to a playpen.

I'd dumped both women and, at the time, it had been exactly the right thing to do. Hands down. No question. But I've got as much success meeting and dating women as THIS GUY, especially as I get older and because I still don't feel 'ready'. My job's poorly-paid and can barely sustain myself. A girlfriend will bankrupt me. I also want to reach the giddying achievement of finishing this millstone of a fucking book that's hanging round my neck and breaking my back. And probably more importantly I feel too 'heavy' and would like to diet myself datable. And that's not happening while I'm trying to write. I can't do both at once.

I've been in this limbo for years. Now I'm 37. Thirty-fucking-seven. How I got this far I've no idea. Obviously time's passed but I feel like I'm 28 and now I'm boring myself.

And that's why I couldn't sleep last night, blah blah blah...


Dandelion said...

It's alright, I'm the same and I'm 38. At least you haven't got a clock ticking...

looby said...

37, 38, ha ha ha, although I don't have a clock ticking, I have something else on permanent radar, picking up nothing.

A girlfriend needn't be expensive to run. I am the poorest person I know but I never think of that as a barrier to meeting anyone. My looks, yes, I worry about them more, but then again, women are incredibly generous towards appearances, far more than our sex is.

So nil desperandum!

Anonymous said...

On the diet front, this works...

Anonymous said...

Must be comfy up your own arse(grin). Life is life - live it 'n get over yourself (frown).


Wv clobjera

I jeer ya wiv a clob?

Redbookish said...

Try being a woman over 40. Then you'll know about invisible! And a girlfriend does not/should not be "expensive" -- we like to earn our own money now ... let us pay for dinner (I love paying for dinner).

But I got to your blog by your tag "notwriting" I have to write as part of my job -- thankfully not fiction (my sibling is the novelist) -- but I really do think there is a definite state of notwriting until you reach the requisite level of self-disgust that all you *can* do is write.

I have a 6000 word chapter to write. Half of it done as conference papers. Should be simple and enjoyable. But I spent Friday in my pyjamas on the sofa doing all sorts of other 'important' things.

You are not alone.

Have you read Anne Mott's Bird by Bird? That's great -- lovely fluid writing and excellent advice. Or Peter Elbow, Writing with Power.

Or just try writing 500 words a day, everyday. That's what I do when I'm working on a book.

looby said...

If it's any consolation Redbookish, I'm 47 and male and the invisibility is also terrible, and so unfair.

Anonymous said...

Get some help. Speak to someone who can help you move on rather than e-friends who will validate you into oblivion. Don't go around in circles forever. Seize the muthafuckin' day.

fwengebola said...

Dand ~ I've got a ticking manclock (I said clock) if that helps.
Dunno what that means on biological terms.
You have to act, Dand, said the non-acting complainer.
Loob ~ You're totally right, of course. I just need to up my game, lose a few pounds, and get a cast-iron confidence only booze and cocaine can provide.
It's foolproof.
Anon ~ Thank you for that, Mr Mark Sisson.
Anon ~ Lay off the crack.
Speaking of which, it happens to be very comfortable up my own arse.
RedB ~ Well thanks for the tips. And for offering to pay for dinner.
My greatest hurdles (other than initially typing 'girdles') are frequent waves of crashing self-doubt draped in an unhealthy sense of imposter syndrome.
Thus I end up not writing at all. But I will look up those book suggestions, thanks.
Loob ~ I don't know why I think I should give advise, but smarten up, change your wardrobe, and up your game.
And I'm aware at how disgracefully hypocritical it is of me to even assume any of that whilst barely following it myself.
Anon ~ Yes, I know, all valid. I'm working on it, smiley emoticon, thanks...

luna said...

try the third way, not alone but not with your usual drunkards crowd either.

What you might want to try out is some kind of writing mate, or writers club, because by yourself you just relapse in apathy or wallow in your addictions.

planet Jupiter is in your star sign and fame will come one way or another.
I want to hear all the gossip, gossip about what? dish it up, we've been left high and dry for too long, you owe us.

fwengebola said...

I love it! Worldly-wise, yet convinced I have a 'planet'

Yes, writer's club. That's not a bad idea. I do really need to concentrate on my writing, seeing as I've done fuck all n' that.