I did something I don't usually do on Tuesday. I sat on a squishy leather sofa in a country hotel and had a cuppa and a chat with my writer friend, Chrissie. We never usually meet in the morning, because that's when we write. I 'd just been telling her that I was having a week off from writing, a holiday at home, when the barman came to take our cups away and asked what we were going to do now, and I said without thinking "I'm going back to work." Just like that. It slipped out. I think it's because it's so firmly fixed in my mind that the mornings are for writing.
I'm having a week off because I've been working hard since the end of January on the sitcom, even drafting one episode in Colorado on snowy days when the girls were at school. I've got five episodes under my belt. Then last weekend I was a tangle of anxiety.
I had episode 1 of the sitcom all lined up, ready to submit to the BBC (closing date for submissions 5 p.m. on Monday). I also had the required paragraph about my writing and synopses for episodes 2-6 of Series 1. That's what I understood from the website was required. But then when I logged on, and reached the submission screen, I was asked for a logline. You remember the logline? I hadn't got one!
The logline is one or two sentences that say what the sitcom is about. I logged off and spent the next 24 hours working out my logline. Then I started worrying about how it works if you submit a blind copy of your script (as asked for) with no name or identifiers on it. If they decided they liked what you'd sent, how would they know it was yours? Monday morning, I sent it off anyway. I was a heap of jelly by that time - a result of hard, concentrated work, mild depression, and terror that this was my last chance. My very last chance. What if nothing came of it? What if the person who read my script was the kind of person who likes Mrs Brown's Boys, and not Hancock, As Time Goes By and Blackadder Goes Forth.
Since then I've been:
getting up late in the mornings because I've been gripped by a book about brain surgery called Do No Harm
knitting a cardigan for a great niece
belting out Nights in White Satin on my sax
and trying to make it to the top of Longstone Edge without getting off my bike. I cycle up a quiet lane on which the only living things I meet are highland cattle, which so far have not minded when I've sidled past them to get across the cattle grid. I took my camera yesterday but they weren't there, so here's a pic of Liz's - imagine them standing, barring my way, and without the mist:
I had to walk the last fifty yards of the hill. Next time maybe I'll make it. If not, I'll keep trying, if only for the endorphins.
And next week I'll write episode 6.