The 500 Words a Day Project

So. Many of my favourite writers say ‘you you want to be a writer, then write’. So I am. I am starting with 500 words a day. I don’t know if I am going to blog them all or not, as it’s pretty scary publishing anything to a blog, even when I have no followers. But this is what I wrote this morning, from the Write One Leaf tumblr. 

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9-1-13

She sat, staring at the magazine in front of her. A gift from her best friend. Good housekeeping. Around her the house was still and watchful, waiting for her decision.

‘No.’ She slammed the magazine shut, ignoring a helpful article on how to remove mold from fabric covered sofas. ‘I refuse to be drawn as a feminist raging against the social expectations of me. I refuse to be thought of as the good house keeper, house proud and just so diligent. I refuse to be thought of…’

Her thoughts trailed off then, and a fear washed over her. Clammy, sick fear, the realization of something… something… She sighed. She couldn’t even think of a good simile to compare the fear to. And why did she insist on narrating her whole life? But the fear was real. Yes, it’s true, she narrated her whole life, but she didn’t understand how to describe her own character. She could only identify what she didn’t want to be seen as. Rejection. That’s what she was good at. And feeling the fear. The fear that she never would be the person she should be. It was her constant companion, like the black dog, but more like a perfectly dressed female journalist, pressed black slacks sitting perfectly over pointed red heels and a crisp white shirt, the collar just covering a resin necklace. The pen poised over a notepad, making incriminating and judgmental observations of her actions, sneering, giggling and pointedly glaring at crucial moments of her life. This was her fear, following her, shadowing her, and inhibiting her.

She flipped the magazine back open. It was helpful. Her friend wasn’t trying to pigeon hole her. Her couch was covered along the bottom with mold. The people she had house sitting for her while she spent six months travelling around Australia hadn’t listened to her about leaving windows open a crack and damp had settled into her living room. She scanned the article and got to work.

 

It was two weeks since she had returned from her big trip and her backpack remain half full, its contents spilled around her house as she had rummaged for the things she wanted, and left the rest for when she ‘felt motivated’. Which was never. If experience had taught her one thing, it is that she would leave the back pack half packed until her next adventure, not five weeks away, at half term, before which she would dump out the contents and repack haphazardly. She still had a pile of warm winter clothes in the corner of the guest room, the remains of a winter trip to Prague. They’d been thoughtfully left in the guest room as she knew the house sitters would sleep in her room. And why not? It was twice the size and had closer access to the bathroom.

Maybe this time she should try doing things differently. She considered it. Unhappy with how life generally was, and the fear watching her carefully, pointing out the fact that she wasn’t who she wanted to be, maybe now she should change. Start being who she wanted to be. After all, with our actions, our thoughts change, don’t they? If she kept her things clean, if she was ordered and focused and disciplined, then – she would be. Wouldn’t she? Confused, she sat down on the newly cleaned sofa and turned on the telly. 

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