My MA is nearly at an end – there’s only the dissertation to finish now. I know that all dissertation periods are pretty hellish, but this one is particularly perverse and cruel since it is 15,000 words of pure fiction, which means…

I am so sick of writing.

I remember when snatching time to write was a source of terrible guilt; it was a lovely indulgence, which took time away from the proper sensible things I was meant to be doing with my life. Now I am required to spend every moment of my day sitting at a great big stripped-pine table, eating biscuits and making up stories. It is non-negotiable. I’ve quit my job and said au revoir to my partner, because writing is the most important thing right now; writing is what I am meant to be doing. If I do not write, everybody is going to be very disappointed. ‘Have you written?’ my partner bravely ventures whenever we speak, like it’s I Capture the Castle and he is Topaz and I am Mortmain and there’ll be no ham this Christmas.

I know I might never find myself in this situation again. I know I am very privileged. I know that loads of people would be jealous of this. But seriously, it’s like eating all Mars Bars and never vegetables. Here is a list of honest-to-goodness things I would rather be doing than writing my novel right now:

– a huge supermarket shop

– going for a run

– going to work

– job-hunting

– house-hunting

– batch-cooking

– weeding the front garden

– writing letters of complaint

– organising a dental check-up

– buying slug pellets

– sorting out slow-draining bath


So, look. While you’re getting on with your terrible hectic lives, trying to find a spare selfish half-hour here and there in which to keep your dreams alive, think of me, OK? Think of me.