Writing blind, running wet

This week was my first week of supposed ‘freedom’. It’s been exhausting. And I haven’t written a single creative word. Although on Thursday I did utter some fairly creative words when I tasted the mystery substance that I had spooned into our dinner in the spirit of cross-cupboard-shelf diversity and exploration. Some lids are simply meant to be left sealed, kids.
I’m tired. Exhausted, in fact. Partly a stress hangover, partly not managing my time and sleep properly. I guess learning how to keep ongoing clients in time-windows is one of the first things I’ll need to master. And this will become more important as I start working with other people. I still find it slightly odd that I can (and have) pick up work simply by writing, talking and making people laugh.

I also have to learn how to re-integrate running into my life. I raced yesterday, for the first time since October. I haven’t been to the gym or done any significant running for a month. Since I came back from Devon I’ve been doing ‘morning pages’ (bar this week) when I would normally be down the gym and working silly hours trying to make the transition to self-employment manageable. I was nearly three minutes down on my time from the same race last year, and my legs are really stiff today.

It’s an odd race, running round a rowing lake. On the one hand, it’s as flat as a flat thing – on the other you spend at least 50% of the race running into a serious headwind, and yesterday it was cold and raining too. I tried to stick with the sub-45minute pacers for the first couple of kilometres and then simply caved when I met the wall of weather on one of the ‘return’ legs. I’ve been racing faster more or less continuously for two years now (albeit infrequently), so it was mentally a bit of a struggle to not pull out when I realised that I wouldn’t punch in a good time. However, I wheezed on, and dragged my sorry and wet backside round in 47.30ish. Sometimes it’s just about putting a marker down.

But the misery was good for me. And F enjoyed herself, which is always good to see. It’s made me look at my diary a bit harder, and I booked in for a couple of races later in the year – sadly the marathon I wanted to do is full, but there’s a half at the end of September where I will attempt sub 95, and a ‘revenge’ 10k in four weeks time where I will hopefully go sub 44. I’ve also looked up West 4 Harriers for the umpteenth time. Maybe I’ll join. Next week.

What else? The week has involved a couple of 13 hour days, two three-hour meetings, a re-discovery of poetry, seeing a phenomenal film on Sky (not a phrase you hear often) – Blindness, based on the Saramago novel (Nobel prize winner 1998) which is both deeply unpleasant and thought-provoking watch and a much more harrowing read (I’m told). When not watching adult Lord of the Flies-dystopia we also harvested our first ever cauliflower from the garden. And I had a haircut.

Yes, it’s been a real mongrel of a week. Lowlights – wrestling with email settings trying to get my iMac, Macbook and phone to leave my work stuff alone; no writing; being ineligible for both membership of the Society of Authors and the BBC Short Story Prize (but next year, my friends, next year…); the 9km marker at Dorney Lake. Highlights: meeting a prospective client at the National Gallery; F making something cool on her sewing machine; buying a ludicrously expensive audio recorder for no justifiable reason (other than to fill one entry in the Accounts software I also purchased for no reason other than to annoy myself).

So. Dull update, sorry folks. But next week is a new set of challenges. I’ve blocked out every minute of every day. And first up is the final edit on God’s Cobbler. Be excellent to each other.

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