Oh mate, my Berrocca self is still fizzing. Writing a book? Why yes, yes I am. 

Ed and writing inspiration are fighting a nonstop battle for mind space at the mo. I find myself off in a daydream then making a mad lunge for a pen and paper when fitting thoughts flit into my mind. I have a notepad next to my bed as they’ve started to -welcomingly – invade my subconscious sleeping self. 

The past two weeks were dedicated to getting set up. Planning planning planning in abundance. This usually proves extremely cumbersome for myself; I’m one of those people who like to launch in with gusto. 

What’s this planning lark? I remember at school having to do drafts was the worst task possible to come my way. Things got a bit better when hitting intermediate and thus typed assignments where drafts could be faked with a tweaking of the finished product. And Uni? Aside from a very lacking skeleton to go off, planning was not the way of Pop.

But this is different. I mean, it’s a book. 80,000 – 90,000 words, give or take. Ridiculous! Like, I’m actually living my dream. Which is why I have to do it properly. And plan. But surprisingly enough, I loved it.

So I’ve set out six month targets. Daily aims. A sound structure to start with (because let’s face it, I don’t know where the fuck it will end up). I’ve jotted down memories, reread old projects I started but never followed through with, studied authors whom I adore (think Marian, Tilly, Louise and Elizabeth). I’ve even googled “How to write a book”. And this morning I was finally ready. 

I have my week planned to perfection. A day dedicated to working with people (to make sure I’m not fully reclusive), and then the further four for purely prose. On such days, the schedule goes as follows. 

Arise at 6.30; do the Indian-thing (i.e, jala neti, a few Om’s and mantras, reading affirmations). A brief tenner of phone off flight mode to check for any urgent emails (or funny FB updates), then I head out to my post at the lake (ULTIMATE set up). 

After 40minutes to an hour of yoga, it’s time to launch into lingo. Now, this can continue as long as I’m lost in my own world for. With the cellular back into flight mode and placed away so I can’t see the time, usually it’s the case of continuing until my alarm goes off at 1pm. 

Why have an alarm you ask? I’m determined to break for lunch. Even if it’s two raw carrots or a banana, it’s going to happen every day. Whilst consuming I may check to see if anyone has tried to get hold of me, and do a little lap of the area. 

Then back to it. 

When 4.30 strikes, I take off for a run. Just forty-five minutes I’ve scheduled in; with yoga at 5.30 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, it means I can’t get all ridiculous and do a fair few like it’s been prone to happening lately. And Tuesdays mean no cardio. I mean it, I really do. (Taking dogs for a walk allowed, however).

So home means no book related writing at all, bar being struck with sudden inspirational thoughts. No, that domain is for family-friend-people time, along with the occasional blog post and p/d scrapbooking. I included this in the routine in bold vivid; being susceptible to being obsessed (what?! I hear you gasp. You?! Obsessive?! Why I never!) it is important from the get go to establish time to just fucking chill. Downtime doesn’t come overly easily to the old Popstar when unfinished projects are waiting patiently at the desk. 

So I’ve set targets. Realistic ones, I swear. Being aware I have been an overachiever my whole being, I rewrote and rewrote the goals a number of times before I reached one that while challenging me, is also semi nice to myself. 

And so it began. 

All weekend I was pumped to put pen to paper (or more the case, fingertips to keyboard). I was absolutely hanging out for today, full of zeal, zest and a whole lot of hunger (pun pun). 

But it wouldn’t be me without a visit from Uncle Doubt Yourself. 

The apprehension made an appearance early yesterday afternoon. You’re actually attempting this? It disbelieved. This enormous, fuck-off task? You think you’re good enough to tackle it? To bare all? In a well-enough way? Mate, (this is where Mitre 10 fleetingly entered my mind) you’re dreaming. 

It set off the diffidence and dubiety. 
What if I get struck by an intense bout of writer’s block and don’t have anything to say? What if I can’t think of how to phrase it? What if words fail me? 

Pop, stop. 

When have you ever had writer’s block? Why the hell are you stressing about phrasing? That comes more naturally to you than breathing. And words failing you? When has that ever ever EVER occurred? 

This morning I sat down with my laptop, overlooking the calm-as-a-mum-on-Valium water. It was serenely quiet, bar the occasional group of rowers coasting by. I had the specs on, a thick rug warming my legs and – in a bid to pull off the whole author-in-the-zone image – a cup of green tea steaming beside me (I don’t even like green tea). 

And the words just flowed. 

It was like a fire hydrant erupting and spurting out copious fountains of h20. I couldn’t type fast enough (blast you past self for not listening in ICT and being unable to completely touch type). I was in a state of pure bliss, lost in memories and thought patterns and experiences. 

It was confronting. By cripes, was it that. As I reread previous paragraphs I did sob a fair bit. But cathartic, healing, realising-how-horrendous-it’s-been blubbering. 

And so it begins. 

(Extremely unfortunately, in one particular moment of weeping I got the hand gestures going, and rogue knuckles knocked over cup of lukewarm blasted green tea. Said tea tipped on the lappy, and with the dreaded “tsk” sound, laptop turned itself off. Well, died might be more fitting. 

Efforts to sponge up fluids with a tea towel did not prove miraculous so frantically called Henio for advice. Loaded the laptop into Betsy Hay and drove like a maniac to town – though not surpassing 104km/hr; didn’t want a ticket to top it off – and ran in a flurry into the computer shop. 

In hindsight, my dramatic entrance cradling my computer may have been a tad OTT. But I feel anyone would be the same if backing up on a hard drive had been on the to-do list for the past four years.

Will keep updated on resuscitation status. Let’s hope it doesn’t join the iPod in the Gadget Graveyard). 

To tomorrow! (On Henio’s HP). 

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