Wednesday, February 06, 2008


This is going to be a very messy post I’m afraid.

I seem to have been all over the place of late, constantly trying to catch up on my life and not at all succeeding. I owe far too many people emails. I have little projects around the house which I’m no nearer to completing than I was over the Christmas break. My novel, although not at all falling by the wayside, is languishing slightly under the cold shoulder of relative neglect... I’m still plugging away at it but my progress has been slow over the last few weeks. I just haven’t been able to spend enough time getting back into it after the New Year hiatus. Not that it’s doing too badly: 102,100 words and counting... just counting extremely slowly.

I can’t deny it; my energy and inspiration levels have dropped significantly since the New Year.

I’m sure it’s just a seasonal thing but I do find under achievement very frustrating... even though the old plate is actually pretty full at the moment. Karen’s mum is still in hospital though Karen hasn’t visited her for a week or two due to illness – she and Tom and myself have all been afflicted with the post-Christmas lurgy that’s been doing the rounds. Plus Tom is having periodic bouts of teething and is currently recovering from the mother of all nappy rashes. None of which is conducive to sticking a baby into a car seat for 4 hours to drive up and down the country to visit someone who doesn’t even appreciate it.

Sorry. I was going to give the anger thing a rest.

University continues well though, even there, I can tell that I’m slowly reaching the end of my tether. Another 12 months and it’ll all be over and I’ll be indescribably glad. The constant outlay of money and energy is wearing me thin. Doing a part-time degree has been great in many respects – I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do it otherwise – but 10 years slogging back and forth is way, way too much. I’m happy to commit to long-hauls but even I have a limit.

The web site business also continues apace. A constant background hum of extra work and toil sloshed onto my plate. It’s time consuming, tiring and frequently tedious but it does bring in much needed extra money. And God knows I need it – I’ve got Karen’s birthday fast approaching this month plus Valentine’s Day on top. My budget is as shot as a suicide bomber in Dimona. Sorry. Bad taste. But topical. And really I’m finding that difficult at the moment.

And TV at the moment – usually my hardy standby in terms of blog-worthy material – is ineffably flat. Sure there’s Torchwood and there’s Lark Rise To Cranford. And Ashes To Ashes starts this week... but it’s not impinging on me like it used to. I have no real enthusiasm for new stuff at the moment and it’s frightening. About the only thing that’s excited Karen and me with regards the telly is working out how to use the Catch Up TV feature on our Virgin box. But this just means we’re watching “old” stuff out of sync with the rest of the country. Lost in our own private TV schedule.

All in all I feel like some kind of weird psychological hibernation process is occurring in my brain. Like I’m not fully engaging with the world around me. Like I’m a record being played at the wrong speed. Mind you as long as it’s not Whitesnake I really shouldn’t complain too much.

Mainly though I’m just annoyed with myself. Annoyed because on the whole I have very little to complain about so why am I so full of moans? Other people are having a much rougher time. I’m just feeling a bit blurgh. And that hardly makes for a decent blog post.


Rol said...

It's the modern malaise, and it's particularly common with writerly types.

By the way, my boss claims Whitesnake are the biggest band in the world. You think you've got problems!

Steve said...

My boss has never expressed any prediliction for music and for that I am eternally grateful. He does, however, wax lyrical about "Shameless" and Nigella Lawson and not necessarily in that order. I think the two are combined in his head in a manner altogether unwholesome...

Anonymous said...

I was feeling all sympathetic until you mentioned Whitesnake. My son has got a thing about Whitesnake at the moment and only about two hours ago I yelled and yelled and yelled at him about it and threatened to throw his ipod (which he connects to a very powerful speaker thing) out of the window. I thought I was safe from Whitesnake here.

I think we all get times like you are going through when everything suddenly feels unmanageable and out of control - that there is just too much to do. I know I do. I don't know what the answer is though.

You are having a difficult time though - illness, an impossible harridan in your life, plus you are trying to do three full-time things - a degree, a novel and a job. There is no way I would cope with that and neither would most people.

I think you are amazing!

Old Cheeser said...

"Mainly though I’m just annoyed with myself. Annoyed because on the whole I have very little to complain about so why am I so full of moans?"

Au contraire. You have just listed a whole load of things, which while not all being complaint-worthy in themselves, are certainly adding up to a very busy, hectic and probably stressful life as a whole! With all of what you describe on your plate, is it any wonder you're feeling under the weather, Steve? When you're trying to balance so many things it can be a real challenge, for sure.

And I say good for you for your honesty and for saying what's going on with you! Not everyone would have the forthrightness to do that on their blog. On the other hand, there is one blogger I know (who shall remain anonymous) who just uses his blog as an excuse to write daily rants about how bad and depressing his job and life is, the shitness of his friends, how he can never find a partner etc...which gets pretty damn relentless. Honesty is one thing, but perpetually wallowing in negativity and self-pity is another. But I'm sure you'd never go down that route.

I say cut yourself some slack and don't be hard on yourself! Remember I was feeling sh*tty at the end of last year too? Taking time out from blogging can be one solution - I did it for a little while and it might help! Then again I know you love your writing!!

Sending you some virtual hugs!

Agony Aunt Cheeser x

TimeWarden said...

I've always been lost in my own private TV schedule while most of the country/world/universe is tuned into "Emmerdale", "EastEnders" etc. Whatever Rusty says, there was a golden age of television and it certainly isn't now!

Viewing habits will become even more fractured with the BBC's introduction of the iPlayer. Very handy if you want to watch something you miss, within a week of transmission, and useful for writing TV posts if you want to directly quote from a programme.

Did you mean to write "Lark Rise to Cranford"? Certainly made me laugh as did Rol's boss's taste in music!

Steve said...

Gina, thank you... I don't feel particularly amazing; in fact if I'm honest I suspect I'm probably very mundane! Sorry the Whitesnake thing tapped into an already bad experience... Dave Coverdale has that effect on most people...

Hi Auntie OC... ah, I see you found my other blog then (only joking). Thank you for your kind and supportive words my friend. I do try and not descend into a mire of moans and mishaps too much... in fact if I suspect I'm becoming a one track record I tend to stop writing about a subject altogether but sometimes it is good to get it all out. I must admit, after writing this post, I felt a little better and then managed a good 1000 words on the novel so felt a little more "successful" by the end of it. Virtual hugs much appreciated.

TimeWarden - Lark Rise To Cranford? How very telling! I didn't mean to write that, no, but I recall writing in a previous post how Cranford and Lark Rise To Candleford had blurred into one for me... well, there's your proof! I think you're right regarding to personalized telly. I was saying something similar to a colleague at work yesterday. I can see a day when channel's offer no TV scheduling at all, just a smorgasbord of shows for the viewer to pick and choose from and watch when ready. I dare say there'll be a fee involved...

I am looking forward to Ashes To Ashes though... Keeley Hawes and Gene Hunt...? Too good to miss.

The Sagittarian said...

Up your whisky intake, batten down the hatches...all things shall pass. (Or is that prunes??)As we say over here, "she'll be right mate". Take time to be kind to yourself and when the voices get too loud...more whisky.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Organisation is definitely the key to happiness!

Not that I've mastered it yet of course...

Steve said...

Amanda, Laura, I'm hoping to combine your good advice and organize myself some whiskey drinking time... cheers! ;-)