The freelance lifestyle requires icy discipline and boundless energy and enthusiasm. These are not qualities I possess in abundance. This was my 'working' day:
8:00 Walk dog. There is nothing wrong with this part of the day. Leaves, trees, light drizzle, endless whippetty squatting and insistent licking of patches of old wee. Bracing.
8:30 Finish a Brussels Guide (= add all the addresses forgotten when 'finished' on Friday). Enjoy brief sense of achievement.
9:10 Instagram my new advent calendar.
9:15 Try and upload some pictures to a client’s website from shared drive. Totally fail. Repeat, fail. Hate shared drive. Fantasise about painful death by melting of shared drive. Try again. Fail again.
9:45 Enlist M to try and help me resize the misshapen dialogue boxes on my Mac. We fail. Do some light chat/complaining.
10:10 Look at Saturday’s work. Feel queasy. Shift 5 words around. Email a restaurant asking for pictures. Do not anticipate reply, ever. Look at Solange wedding pics.
10:20 Feed chickens to stop them shrieking. Delete 5 words.
10:30 Look at work again. Delete 5 more words. Go and click on a couple of links. Genuinely find self starting to open a gallery entitled "The History of Kim Kardashian’s bum" then stop in shame. Decide to keep this diary of the day to chronicle My Full Monday Shame.
10:40 Eat a chocolate digestive. Think about using Freedom but remember it is on the other computer. Check Twitter. Check Instagram. Look at words again.
10:50 Write a sentence. Decide I would work better from bedroom.
11:00 Get into bed. For the next hour try, really try to write. It is horrible. ‘I will give back the advance,’ I think several times. “Quickly, before I spend it”. I dwell on all the problems the text poses me and all the embarrassment and the outstanding bits I really don’t want to write. Lacking anything else really to do, I just sit with my discomfort for a while. I chuck a sentence down now and then, whilst staring into space. Add a couple of words here and there, have a tiny germ of an idea. Brief shafts of light appear, occasionally and are then smothered.
12:39 Too hungry to continue. Break off in middle of laboriously trying to relate super important life epiphany in Lafayette Gourmet. Bet this is going to be easy to recapture. Make and eat pasta and watch a blast of The Missing, because abducted child drama is jolly Monday viewing. Let chickens out, watch them systematically massacre the herbs then put them back in again.
1:50 Go back to a whole other section, accidentally. Write a bit of it.
2:14 M interrupts to tell me a saucepan lid has fallen on her head.
2:16 Remember which bit I was supposed to be trying to write. Go back to it.
2:35 Saxophone starts. Feels like neighbour is playing inside my actual fucking head. Rage. Remember earplugs. Put in earplugs. Go back to paragraph.
2:50 B emails a picture of a cat wine bottle holder and an all caps diatribe against Monday. I reply in kind.
3:00 Stare into space with mouth open for 5 minutes. Imagine lying down and closing eyes. Try to dispel this vision. Only an hour left until it all goes to shit. Must. Concentrate. Look at Twitter. Look at Instagram. Hate self. Go back to work.
3:11 Decide paragraph is lame. Stare at it. Conclude it is still lame. Plough on, grimly.
3:27 Look at a Grazia slideshow of advent calendars.
3:45 Finish section. It is highly unsatisfactory and lacking in jokes, but it is done.
3:50 Do another five minutes. Count words. 1200. Could be worse. Look at Isabel Marant €350 leopard skin trainers.
16:00 Look at website of hotel I might review. Listen to neighbour's improvised saxophone accompaniment to The Cure and Dido whilst thinking dark thoughts.
16:03 Give up and await imminent arrival of children.
Please tell me yours? But not if you saved an orphan from a runaway train or fearlessly confronted a drug kingpin or landed anything on a comet. No one needs to hear that.