Time warp

Ladies and gentlemen, I am currently acheiving one of my Ambitions In Life. Admittedly, it’s a small one. But I am currently to be found on my laptop in Starbucks. Oh yeah. I’ve become one of them. Though my chunky navy blue Dell is somewhat out of place (Ipad to the left of me, Vaio to the right…) – one day I’ll finally be brave enough (by which read, cool enough, rich enough…) to buy a Mac. One day!

Today’s been a funny one. I don’t know… firstly, my sense of time is totally warped today. At about 4pm I found myself struggling to remember what day it was – it definitely feels like a Wednesday. It can’t be Thursday. It definitely can’t be Thursday evening – I don’t feel like I’ve got anything done yet.

Looking back at today, I know I was Doing Stuff. OK, the first hour ish of my working day tends to revolve around making coffee, drinking coffee, and answering emails… but that’s still doing stuff. And that’s only an hour. I spent the morning writing a feature, I popped out for some fresh air (and my weekly Waitrose fix) at half twelve, I came back… we had a review meeting, which I’d done some prep for… I started writing up the meeting report… my boss called time a little early and we went home.

I have genuinely been Doing Something all day. But I just feel a bit like I … failed, today.

Odd I know. And, logically, unjustified. (This is where I realise I am so like both of my parents. My mum would get emotional about something – my dad would get logical. I’m doing both.) I just feel like I Could Have Done Better today. It’s been niggling at me a little bit all week. I had a really good day on Tuesday – one of those ones where time flies past and you look at your watch with a jovial “Oh my! Is it 5 already? Wowzers!”, not where it gets to 5.15 and you kind of want to stay on and finish the meeting report you’ve started… because you want to finish something today.

I’ve been struggling a bit with this feature – well, not struggling, it’s not the writing that’s hard! I love writing. Hence my current location. It’s hard not having a brief. It’s for a health journalist, who wanted a reasonably general piece, but I obviously have to fit the client in there somewhere, otherwise I’m just providing her with free copy. Not exactly a profitable use of my time from our point of view! I spent yesterday afternoon getting the bones of it together, then started shifting things around today to hook it to our client. It was sort of getting there by the time we had this meeting – I just feel like I’ve spent a lot of time working on something that isn’t necessarily productive, seeing as until about 11 today our client didn’t even feature. Grrr. I don’t know. A lot of the time when I get a block like this it helps to go away from it and come back to it – but today I think I’d have really appreciated just getting stuck in.

I just feel a bit like… I don’t know. Ha, insightful today, aren’t I. It’s not like it’s writer’s block – writing isn’t the problem. I just don’t feel like I’ve acheived anything with it. I’m sure when I send it to the journalist she’ll come back to me with more of an angle – and at the mo it feels like it needs it.

Maybe I’m caring about it too much. I don’t like to show people things, especially written things, until they’re perfect. There’s a novel I have planned out in a battered old notebook somewhere and I genuinely PANIC if someone picks it up. It’s not ready yet. I was pleased with myself for the other big project I’ve had the past couple of weeks – a lifestyle type newsletter for a different client – because I didn’t freak out and beat myself up when they came back with edits. Like I said, the journalist can give me an angle once I’ve shown her what I’ve done. I can’t make it what she wants without knowing what she wants. So stop letting it get to you.

The meeting went well this afternoon – the one I wanted to “make up for” the article with by getting stuck into the report 10 minutes before home time. Well, except for one thing. I had a call yesterday afternoon from Pig & Poultry Magazine – honest to God, that’s the name – amazing isn’t it? – asking if our big client wanted to enter their annual Marketing Awards, as she reckoned they’d be a good contender. National awards, free to enter – my two managers gave the green light, so we popped it on the agenda to discuss today. Gets to my turn (I’ve now got over my rabbit-in-headlights-ness during meetings; I’d even go as far as saying I enjoyed it today… though we had Fruit Gums today. Maybe that was it.) – anyway – Gets to my turn, and I start chatting about how not all the categories seem relevant, but this one and this one could be… Client: “But it’s about pigs. And poultry.” Don’t get me wrong, he was really nice about it (again – we had Fruit Gums. Who could say no?). But Pigs and Poultry aren’t really things that a catering provider for the NHS has much to do with. They make hospital meals. They don’t breed no pigs.

….

You’d think I’d have twigged that one!…. Brilliant. I know that he knows that I’m new, and I don’t want him thinking I haven’t learnt how to do this yet. And I don’t want my managers to think that either. I want people to think, wow, she’s not been doing this long but she’s good – not, oh, it’s OK, she’s not been doing this long.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not angry with myself or even what you could call upset. I just feel a bit… Could Have Done Better. I know, I know, I have crazy high standards for myself. But it’s fine not meeting those standards if you pull your finger out and worked for them. I just don’t feel like I did. I tried, but I feel like I could have tried harder. Maybe I’m wrong – like I said, I was Doing Stuff all day… just waiting for that fist-pump feeling when you know you did something good.

Got a decent sized to do list tomorrow, and I am going to smash it.

Sorry for the odd post. I just have a bit of an odd brain today.

In other news… have become something of an old woman this week, after hurting my back in aerobics on Monday. Hence why I’m curled up in Starbucks experimenting with a soya latte (off the dairy again – long story. Well – short story – had milk, got ill!) rather than at the gym. The gym can wait til tomorrow. Rob’s seeing the boys tomorrow night anyway so have got the time to go sweat it out. And I enjoyed the walk down here, was nice to be outside. Rob also invited me to his Being-Called-To-The-Bar (I’m sure there’s an official name to it) yesterday 🙂 yaay. I didn’t think he would as he said you can only get two tickets, and obviously that’s for his mum and dad! But apparently if you apply early you can get three. So his mum, dad and me 🙂 really happy he asked me. The word “honoured” isn’t right in this context… but I’m just pleased he wants me to be there. We’ve booked a little April getaway as well, just a B&B in the Cotswolds, but I’m so looking forward to it. He is too – though his enthusiasm waned somewhat when I told him it just so happened to be conveniently near a stables and that I was definitely making him come horse riding with me. Hey,if you leave the details up to me…. 😉

Coffee’s getting cold. (Soya latte verdict – growing on me.) Promise not to be so emo tomorrow. It’s campaigns week next week so expect a little “Why I Don’t Agree With Student Elections” post!

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One thought on “Time warp

  1. Stop beating yourself up ! I’m sure you’ve achieved a great deal more than you realize this week. Remember, Pig & Poultry magazine contacted you to moot the idea of your client being nominated, so it was well worth running with the idea. I imagine they provide pig – pork – and poultry to the NHS, and even if they don’t breed pigs, it was worth exploring to see if some connection could be made. I’m sure the client appreciated that. I imagine in PR it’s worth exploring any angle.
    I would love a Mac. I made a mistake last year when I bought a netbook with a screen that is only 11.6″. It’s alright for email and limited web browsing, but for serious reading of long documents and writing, it’s useless. As a result, I’m trying to justify buying a Mac – expensive – Book Pro! This has nothing to do with looking cool in Starbucks, honest! 🙂

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