It's been hard focusing on writing when such a lot else has been going on in family life - S being away for a week, my Uncle having lung cancer operated on, not to mention the looming of the unmentionable Christmas. (There's quite an art to living in denial that Christmas is around the corner while also panicking because there is so much shopping still to do and simultaneously pretending great excitement for the children. I'm pretty proud of my attempts, though my hair will probably whiten in the process).
Today, I had to force myself to sit and write - it's surprising how quickly the routines falter into nothing. I made life easy for myself and worked on a first draft of a story that's meant to be 750 words. It stood at about 1200, and I gave it a good old polish and edit, then read some of it aloud, which gave me goosebumps (it really seemed very good - but won't by tomorrow, so I can risk appearing arrogant, as I'll be humbled by morning). But it still was 1100. When I next go to it, I shall have to see if it has already found its perfect length, in which case I will submit it elsewhere. It's based on an experience my Grandad had during the Second World War, and it has a wonderful flavour of the period to it, which is entirely thanks to my Grandad, and the way he always told stories with vivid detail.
In a change of pace, I also went into school and met the children I will be teaching in a few weeks. (The countdown has begun...) They are all lovely, of course, and I wouldn't admit it if they weren't. It surprised me, how much I enjoyed being with them. I'd forgotten that I like teaching, a lot, and that I'm really quite good at it. (My, my, what a big head you have, Grandma. Ask me how I feel in a couple of months, when I've had a few bad days to tuck under my belt, and I might be feeling differently....but we all rush to embrace our negative thoughts - what's so bad about sharing the positives while they last?) I even had the slightly unbalancing thought that I might spend a lifetime striving to be a good writer, and never realise that in actual fact I had already found my vocation, and wasted the time I should have been spending on that on this futile writing dream instead.
So I walked home, took a couple of deep breaths, and reminded myself that the two don't have to be mutually exclusive, and that yes, writing really is IT for me, despite what traitorous little voices whisper. I think I was just intoxicated by the change of scene, even though the change isn't pronounced at first glance - there are giddy little people at work and at home.