Frustrated Friday

It’s Friday. This is, undeniably, a Good Thing, and I am looking forward to the weekend partly because it’s the weekend, of course, but also partly because I’m meeting an old friend tomorrow, and that will be lovely.

However, it’s also a Major Pain. This is because I’m also dealing with the fact that a competition I wanted to take part in, the closing date for which is next week, will probably have to remain unentered. This, my friends, is not only because I completely messed up the dates – this happens to me on a worryingly frequent basis – but also because a story idea I’ve been working on for a while is just not happening. It may happen in two weeks’, or three months’, or fourteen years’ time, but as of right now, it’s at a standstill.

This is frustrating.

This is what my head feels like. Image:

This is what my head feels like.

There’s so much about the story that I like. I really love the protagonist – everything from her name to her demeanour to her appearance pleases me. I have already imagined the final scene, and the ‘voice’ of the characters, completely different from anything I’ve written before, is an interesting journey for me. It’s so annoying, though, to have the beginning and the end of a strong story mapped out, and no clear way of getting from A to B. I know all the story needs is time, really, but time is what I do not have. I hate the idea of leaving a competition unentered just because I couldn’t get my act together, but there it is. It looks like that’s exactly what will have to happen.

I’ve made a point of entering competitions over the last few months – there is certainly no shortage of them. So far, I’ve had no success whatsoever, but then, success isn’t really the point. The point is to impose discipline upon myself, to have a deadline and to meet it, to fulfil the ‘brief’, so to speak, and to rise to a challenge. Simply meeting the deadline, for me, is a success in itself. So, you might understand now why I’m so irritated with myself. Not only have I missed a competition, in all likelihood, but I’ve also let myself down. It’s true that it’s not easy to keep track of everything, and I’ve had a lot of things to think about lately, but that’s no excuse really. The fact is, not only is the story not ‘right’, but I also thought I had an extra week in which to get this work done. I don’t. For some reason, I always manage to fudge dates when it comes to the end of one calendar month and the beginning of another. Somehow, in my mind, several extra days just creep in out of nowhere. This often causes me problems. You’d think, at this stage in my life, I’d have come up with a way to deal with this absent-minded dizziness.


I suppose, at the end of the day, it’s only a competition – and probably one in which my entry would’ve sunk without trace, too – and I should just give myself a break. It is important to take part in competitions and become part of a writing community when you’re starting off your journey as a writer, of course, but it’s also true to say that missing one out of the multitude isn’t the end of the world. It feels that way, but it really isn’t. I suppose the little voice at the back of my head will always be there: ‘You could’ve won this one. This could’ve been the one! You’re an eejit to have missed it.’ Those little voices in your head have an annoying tendency to be right, sometimes. That must be what makes them so annoying.

In any case, I still have today, and Sunday, before I need to really give up hope. Perhaps it will all work out: I’ll embark upon a writing marathon and the whole thing will just slot together like Lego and I’ll get it submitted with hours, instead of seconds, to spare. Yeah, maybe – and maybe I’ll also become the first Irishwoman to walk on the surface of Mars, or to cross the Atlantic using a jet-pack. You know, I have a feeling I’ll still be sitting over the same stubborn 800 words in a week’s time, wondering why they just won’t cooperate, and driving myself further round the twist.

Perhaps I should just throw in the towel, and take up knitting instead. What do you reckon?



Have a wonderful Friday, and a happy (and hopefully unfrustrated) weekend!

6 thoughts on “Frustrated Friday

  1. Maurice A. Barry

    Times like this it’s good to change direction for a while. How about this: head out to a public library and consider the sections you normally do not frequent. Pick one or two of those sections and just browse. You do not have to sign out anything, just browse for new ideas; new perspectives.

    1. SJ O'Hart Post author

      That sounds like a wonderful idea – if only I could do it. 😀 I live in the tiniest spit of a town, without even a bookshop, let alone a public library. I’ll be travelling into the city tomorrow, though, so that’ll achieve the aim of ‘seeing a new perspective’. Thank you, though – it’s really good advice to seek the new, and I’ll find another way to achieve it. Heck, I might browse my husband’s bookshelves – all his books are science-related, which is *way* out of my comfort zone! 😀

  2. anna3101

    You don’t have to take part in all the competitions all the time. Give yourself a break, you deserve it! I think you are too hard on yourself. Discipline is all good and well but you also need some rest and good old-fashioned (non-writing) fun. Please? 🙂

    1. SJ O'Hart Post author

      Yup. I’ve been working on the story all day but it’s still not going anywhere. So, I’ve decided I’m just not going to submit anything for this competition. It’s making me come out in a rash, but it’s what’s happening, whether I like it or not!

      P.S. How great is it to see you around here again? *huge hug!*

      1. anna3101

        And hugs back! I’m glad to be back. Maybe I won’t read every blog entry of every blog I follow (and trust me, my conscience is killing me because of that) but at least I will be here instead of hiding AND having pangs of conscience 🙂

      2. SJ O'Hart Post author

        Pfft. Life’s too short to do everything! Focus on yourself, your family, your loved ones and your happiness, and forget the rest. I can’t read everything I follow, either. People understand, though – nobody expects you to be able to do everything, all the time. Let your conscience fly free! 🙂

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