Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Frustration is one of my biggest weaknesses. I've never been very good at dealing with it, if I'm perfectly honest, and experience hasn't helped me mellow in the slightest when I'm genuinely frustrated. I'm still prone to shouting at something for no apparent reason, other than it's there to take my frustrations out on.

Fortunately, I do have outlets that will help me to channel frustrations. One of these is watching the Town, although this often ends in me being even more frustrated. Another is going out in the garden and booting a football about for 30 minutes. I did this a couple of times this afternoon, and right now I'm feeling pretty good.

Today's frustration came about as a result of a misbehaving story. After having an idea, I couldn't get the opening scene to do what I wanted it to. Cue me trying way too hard, the writing deteriorating and, before too long, a grunt of annoyance aimed at the computer. How hard can it be to get into the head of a mother wanting to protect her kids? It's not tough to write a good opening few lines just go get the story started, so why isn't it going to do what I want it to as it is?

Anyway, I decided to take a break over lunch, listened to a couple of short stories, had a look at what was going on in the news, and then got back to work. The story still didn't want to play ball. It felt awkward and unwieldy, and frustration again reared its head. I wouldn't be so fussed if over the last couple of days I'd been writing fluently and this was the first block I'd had for a while, but that isn't the case. It's been a tough couple of days. Perhaps it's because I've been writing from a woman's point of view. Most women would agree that I really don't know how they think. Anyway, whatever the cause, writing's been difficult this last couple of days, and so I decided to give it up as a bad job for the afternoon and do something else.

Frustration is best worked out physically, I find. There's nothing that gets rid of that anger quite like putting my foot through a football and hearing the satisfying thwack as the ball flies into the nets I still have in the back garden (and which remain there for this very reason). Before too long, the frustration had gone to be replaced with just enjoying having a ball at my feet. I was trying my usual back garden tricks - drag-backs, stepovers, flicks with the outside of my feet, using my knees and shoulders to control the ball - and thoroughly enjoyed it, if I'm honest.

It would also be worth mentioning that I probably needed the exercise. I actually had to loosen my belt for the first time ever yesterday, and I did it again this lunchtime. My target is to be in shape when uni kicks off again at the end of September so I can actually play a few games for the Gooks this season. I was going to say 'make a telling contribution' but that'd be pushing my abilities a bit far. I might play my part, but I'm not going to score and create goals by the hatful.

Another thing worth mentioning is that this evening I'll be back in front of the iMac bashing out some flash fiction. I saw a website that isn't a paying market, but which interested me and I quite fancied seeing if I could get a bit of something on there, before going back to the previous idea I was working on and also starting work on an idea for an anthology I fancy writing for.

In the mean time, tea. I'm starving.

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