Time: Mascots, Merlot and Making the Most of It by Jackie Ladbury


He’s waiting in the wings
He speaks of senseless things
His script is you and me boys.’
David Bowie–­Aladdin Sane 1973.  The next verse is really rude and I couldn’t possibly repeat it!

Anyway, doesn’t it go so fast, time? One minute here you are scribbling down your ‘really interesting’ thoughts, toying with writing a novel, the next you’re buying an A4 notepad and lining it up against your lucky Gonk and your posh John Lewis fountain pen because ­yes, you’ve decided to be a best selling author!

You write: ­­­­­­­



Then–well, then maybe you do something really stupid like accidently knocking your glass of wine all over your pristine white pages. You think, “Sod it, I didn’t know what to write, anyway,” and that’s it for the next five years.

Oh right, that’s just me then, is it?

Okay, so we’ll fast-forward some more years to the time when this writer has mellowed and now has insightful, erudite thoughts (or should that be erudital thoughts?)

Whatever. All I know is my next foray into writing was years later when I wrote about a single boot, propping the door open. I tell you, I was bowled over by it– read it over and over, and I was so cross because all this time I could have been earning a fortune pondering on such worthy thoughts as the boot that props open the door.’

After that nugget of brilliance I decided I was made for writing that I ought to take it seriously. I owed it to my newly formed fan base of one (me!) to show the world what I could achieve. So off I went again, buying a pretty notebook and double-ended pencil stirred up with optimism in the place of talent and this time I fared better. I wrote quite a lot really, but none of it came out on paper the way it ran in my head. How could this be?

After lots of deep sighing and huffing I decided it’s really, really hard to write a book and anyone who can whip up a plot, write it all down with gut-wrenching emotion and perfect prose at the first attempt deserves to have a best-seller whizzing through the impenetrable obstacles of Amazon (charts that is, not the river.)

So really, what I’m trying to say is, if you have a hankering to write a novel, I’ll tell you for nothing, you’d better get a move on, ‘cos you’re already knocking on a bit and if only you’d done it all those years ago, you’d be there by now. What a bummer –all that time you’ve had to hone your craft and learn some fancy new words– which won’t get past your editor by the way, but what the hell, if you wanted to fit “colposinquanoia” into your story, then go for it. (Judging a woman by her breasts, if you’re interested.)

And look at the time now– half your day has gone already. Get started before those million and one other unforeseen chores stop you from writing and hijack your time– like paid work, cooking, shopping and drinking wine (oops, how did that sneak in?)

If you’re not careful the next twenty years will disappear the same way and you will just be another ‘also ran’ plodding slower than Dobbin with fat farmer Giles on his back.

So blow the dust off your lucky Gonk, see if you can still buy refills for that posh pen you bought and get writing.

Start at the beginning and don’t stop until you’ve written.





4 thoughts on “Time: Mascots, Merlot and Making the Most of It by Jackie Ladbury

  1. Lovely post, Jackie. Really enjoyed reading that, and how so very true. Many bells ringing in my ears! Stick your name in the title as you deserve the credit for such a vibrant piece. xx

  2. Hi Jaxx. I agree with Deirdre that this is a fab blog entry and, flipping heck, it’s soooooooo right! Here I am, for a start, replying to your post when I should be getting on with my NaNo’ing for the day, as I ‘ve already missed the last two. But there is some stuff I need to get from eBay, an email I need to reply to and some wonderfully trashy TV waiting on the planner for me to press play… You’ve inspired me, though, so I’ll seek out the company of my lucky gonk and get a least a few words on the page today – I promise! Jo X

  3. Oh yes, the illusive time. I’m meant to be catching up on NaNo having missed 2 days on the trot but I came upstairs an hour ago and caught up on my emails and Facebook first, posted some photos from last night’s night out, changed my profile picture, checked out our blog and now I’m thinking, “pointless starting NaNo just yet until Ashleigh’s in bed.” Hmmm. Where has the last hour gone?!

    And thank you for educating me on a new word. Who the hell makes these words up? Talk about not sounding anything resembling what the word means?!

    Julie xx

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