The Challenges of Mama-hood and Writing

A belated Happy New Year, dear reader! I hope you had a lovely Christmas (if you celebrate it) and that 2017 is fabulous for you.

My first opportunity, thwarted by the lurgy

December seemed like an ideal time to start work on the screenplay. I’d announced my plans and launched this blog, and my partner and I were taking time off for Christmas. Feeling positive, and slightly ambitious, I noticed an early opportunity to submit my screenplay to be read: the Writers Room, a BBC department which receives scripts twice a year (once for drama scripts, once for comedy). The drama window was to end on 9th January. I toyed with the idea of squeezing in (I had around 4 weeks) a first draft of my drama TV pilot or face waiting another year. I decided: hell yes!

But…

Winter colds and coughs took residence in our home and stayed for Christmas, thwarting my plans. A hacking cough didn’t make me feel very inspired. Instead, I felt like a Dickens character with “the dread disease”. Moreover, I was hardly going to ignore the many needs of my poorly wee boys.

Drugs
Baby (and parent) healing kit

As any parent knows, you can’t cocoon yourself under a duvet on the sofa and switch on Netflix or the Xbox (my personal favourite). And I lament it deeply.

Another challenge is accepting that I can only apparently progress at a glacial pace. I was nicknamed ‘Hurricane’ by one of my former employers and, sure enough, on the odd occasion something fires me up enough I’m all over it until it’s done. Nowadays the best moniker I can hope for is ‘slight breeze’. I’m either too tired or too encumbered with small humans (and the myriad tasks associated with them) and that’s OK – just a little frustrating from time to time.

Still, lots done and feeling positive

I managed to start Save the Cat, the screenwriting book I chose out of my pile, and I’ve just finished my log line (post to come) as well as talked about the story with my partner (also a writer). I was a little disappointed, knowing I have to wait another year or so before the opportunity arises again but of course that’s NOT the only avenue to getting my screenplay seen. Plus, I would’ve rushed the writing if I’d crammed it in for the 9th – so, silver lining: I can spend more time writing it and therefore make it magnificent.

I promised the blog would be real – and the reality is we get sick, tired and self-pitying and have people who need us. Yet, even then, we can still do little things to keep moving forward.

If you’re joining me on having a bash at your dreams, do let me know. I’d love to hear all about it in the comments – including any challenges you’re facing. We can do this! Even if we have to go at an elderly snail’s pace…

x