Say the word ‘August’ to anyone on the New Writers’ Scheme and you tend to get one of three reactions, for which I’ve translated into plain English.
(a) The small smile, hanging somewhere between pride and satisfaction, together with an acknowledging nod of the head.
Translation : ‘Oh yes! I’ve already sent mine off. Go Me!’
(b) The grimace and rolling of eyes.
Translation : ‘Thank God, I’m nearly there, just got to tweak and then send it.’
(c) The death look, all colour drains from face and a small eek escapes their tremulous mouth.
Translation : ‘ *#$* why did you go and bring that up? I am having murderous thoughts about you now. I’m never going to get it finished.’
If you’re reading this sitting back, smiling at the monitor, then well done, give yourself a pat on the back. Although I do fall in this category, I have to admit, mine was a rewrite of last year’s submission which I had been working on since September. After a particularly long wait and a second read, I got both reports back last month.
If you are grimacing and rolling your eyes as you read this (if eye rolling and reading are possible at the same time – how many of you just tried it?) then keep tapping away at the keyboard, the end is in sight, you’re nearly there.
Equally if you now want to punch the monitor and are cursing me for mentioning that blasted deadline whilst wondering why the hell you signed up for this in the first place, then I am sorry. However, as self-appointed cheerleader, I’m with you to the bitter sweet end. Come on, you can do it!