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  • Writer's pictureKate O'Connor

Waiting on Big Blue

Friday night. I wanted to get to bed early tonight (oh how the times have changed), but I wanted to write as well. It seems like every time I resolve to spend more time writing and tending to my website, the more life seems to get in the way. I know I know, it's really myself getting in my way. But it sounds better if I say life. So I'm going with that.

The best thing to come out of this week has been that my parents have bought me an early birthday present, which is currently on it's way to me from merry ol' England. A gorgeous blue Silver Reed Silverette II typewriter which I'm thinking of naming Big Blue. I can't wait for it to arrive. I was watching NCIS the other day, and McGee was typing away on his typewriter while listening to jazz, and I thought to myself, 'Kate, this is where you're going wrong. You write on a laptop with a myriad of possible distractions and too many opportunities to go back and edit immediately instead of waiting a while. Oh, and you're supposed to be listening to jazz. Download some jazz.' I haven't made any headway on the music front yet, but at least the typewriter's on it's way.

This is where being a bit of a perfectionist can get in the way. I'm not always like that, but when I write I really am. I'll type one or two sentences and then go back and edit them and look things up and umm and aah over something about the character, and then I've lost my train of thought and it's six months later and I haven't made a dent. So, by going old school with the typewriter I'm hoping to really push myself into getting into the writing head-space and just going for it, spelling mistakes and all, and getting the story out onto paper where it needs to be. Then, a month or two later, it will be time to pull that baby out and have a read and start the editing process. At least, that's how Stephen King does it. And I feel like he might know a thing or two about writing. Just a guess.

Ultimately, the biggest thing holding me back is that old bitch Fear of Failure. I've told so many people I want to be a writer. I have a Facebook page. I have this website. I've dabbled in freelance writing for a local newspaper while I was living in Canada. I've entered a few competitions (with a few successes) and submitted a few short stories for publication (all of which got the big red cross in response). But serious writing? It just keeps evading me. Because what if it sucks? What if the one thing I've been saying I'm working towards is just a pipe dream? That would mean many wasted years, another wasted uni degree, and probably finding myself at 50 still as lost in life as I often feel now. And yet something deep inside me won't let me let the dream go. So I keep tapping away, sometimes absolute drivel and other times passable pieces. Every now and then I find a pearl of wisdom in something. I assume that if I write more, those pearls may come more often. That could be a fun experiment. At the very least, it could lead to an idea or two.

For now, I'm off to bed. Tomorrow is another early start, with an ultra sound and possibly a corticosteroid injection in my hip around lunchtime. However, I get to spend a bit of the afternoon hanging with an awesome macaw named Pablo, so I can't complain too much.

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