Today I have no heating. We ran out of kerosene over the weekend. The nice Topaz delivery man arrived this morning and filled the tank, but for some reason I can’t get the boiler to re-light. So the house is pretty cold and Ben (my partner) who is the practical one in our house is working in Chicago at the moment, so I can’t ring him yet and ask his advice ‘cause of the time difference. But we’re lucky it hasn’t happened during one of those cold snaps. I keep thinking of that poor girl who died from hyperthermia recently in a council flat in Dublin – it really is like The Little Match Girl. May she rest in peace. Appalling stuff.

And today my daughter is off school with a virus. She’s currently sleeping in my bed behind me (I work in my bedroom as there’s no distracting internet connection up here.), snoring lightly. None of this is very interesting, but there is a point to it all I promise!

I’m very, very tired. She didn’t sleep at all well last night – insisted on climbing into my bed and tossed and turned all night. So I got very little sleep.

But here’s the point – I’m at my desk, about to write my 2,000 words for the day, because I have a busy week ahead with a school visit, Brownies (I’m Tawny Owl), and other things. I have to put in 50 full days of writing to finish my new adult novel, and I can’t afford to miss a day just because I’m tired and my fingers are rather numb (they’ll warm up if I type fast enough I reckon!).

That’s the thing about being a writer – without self-discipline you’ll never get a book finished. You have to ignore the world falling apart around you – and at the moment with Ireland in the state it’s in, that can be difficult. You have to shut out the noise of sick children snoring, you have to close the door on the mayhem that is the overflowing washing basket, the mess in the living room, the muddy footprints the oil delivery man left in the hall. Just shut it all out – close the door on it and write.

Yes, it’s hard. I’d love to snuggle in beside my daughter and have a snooze. I’d love to switch on the radio and listen to Ryan Tubridy, read David Maybury’s latest blog, read Department 19, a new YA vampire thriller that was delivered this morning. But I can’t. Because I am a writer and I have a book to write. Two this year in fact. And if I keep on target, 50 days writing @ 2,000 words a day, I can actually take a decent summer holiday this year. A whole 2 weeks, maybe 3 if I’m lucky.

I have a fantastic year ahead, full of school visits, festivals, workshops and fun writing related things. But I won’t enjoy any of them unless I know I’m on track writing-wise and not worrying about not hitting deadlines (my own self-imposed ones as well as my publisher’s ones).

So back to the writing . . .

Yours in writing,

Sarah XXX PS I got my word count done today - plus a 300 word book review. 1 down, 49 days to go . . .