A writer and her dog

dog (2)Do you remember some time ago I posted about how frightened I was of squandering my time after I quit full time work? Well, here we are just about a month later. What have I accomplished? I have submitted two pieces of non-fiction, three pieces of fiction and have my novella out in the hands of beta readers. I’ve played in a roller derby tournament, changed my hair colour, got a tattoo. I probably spend more time in ugg boots than I ever have in my life, but I also have less laundry waiting to be done, so swings and roundabouts.

The dog is walked every day, in daylight hours, rather than in the dark while I answer emails on my phone. He’s become a regular at a cafe down the road, the staff know him and greet him, much to his dismay.

I have, however, made a disturbing discovery about myself. I need more people around me. I need more pressure, I think. Not the pressure I place on myself, lord knows that’s not disappeared, but perhaps years of journalism have made me expect a deadline looming. Do or die. Publish or perish. Some part of me is suffering, I have no idea how that’s even possible, but there is some kind of identity confusion now that I do not have an employer other than myself. I assume I will grow out of this. Perhaps a few published pieces will give me the surety I need to plow on, laptop under my fingers and the dog sleeping beside me. When I stand back and look at it like that, it’s an idyllic existence. I’m not sure why I’m not in love with it.


About Rachel Watts

I am a writer from Perth, Western Australia. My speculative fiction novella Survival will be released in early 2018. View all posts by Rachel Watts

3 responses to “A writer and her dog

  • Jane Bryony Rawson

    Hello, I don’t know if it will help – it probably won’t because your problem is probably existential ennui, of which I have heaps also, rather than anything practical – but given you have a deadline for your novel, can you set yourself some smaller deadlines to achieve between now and then? Or, perhaps you need a writing group – people who expect you to show them things you have done once a month or so. (Also, things I did when I ‘became a writer’ – changed my hair colour, got a tattoo.)
    PS you’re being incredibly productive.


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