Busy days mean there’s not much time to write, and not much mental space to consider what I’ll write. Generally, there’ll be things floating by in my mind and every so often I’ll pluck one of them from the mental ether and set to write about it. But when your mind is fixed so intently on other things there is much less floating by. When I’m not working I’m thinking about work – and that goes equally for my work in the office and for my writing work at home.
It’s full on. For months I’ve been developing a chatbot, virtually solo. It’s a ridiculous situation to be in. I look at the well-resourced projects around me bumbling along in their slow-witted, indecisive fashion, while I’m doing it all myself, sanctioned by the higher-ups though off the books like. They’re fortunate to have me doing it and, I’d suggest if I didn’t exist then this project wouldn’t either. I’m the creative force that drives it along, I can carry it all in my head, and because needs must pretty well do all the project functions myself, in liaison with an external vendor.
I like the challenge of it, like the creative demands, but I get frustrated too. I feel as if I’m off in a tributary and no matter how it turns out I’ll derive nothing from it. The vendor is well-meaning but disorganised and I’m doing half their work often, which just adds to the strain. And the lack of resourcing and buy-in sometimes pisses me off. I report ostensibly to one of the Digital managers and I can see now he’ll take the credit for this if it works. He’s not a bad guy, he’s got some smarts but – with a marketing background – there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors. He’s smart enough to leave me to my devices, but I cock an eye sometimes when he swans in and begins to grandstand. By now he understands how I feel.
It’s come to the pointy end of this project, which is why I’m so busy with it. I’ve literally got my fingers in every bit of the pie, but I need my hands elsewhere. Christmas should see it done, and it should be good.
The other stuff I’m working on is a submission to certified for somesuch. I’ve been coordinating every part of the business to get their contribution, which is a bit like herding a pack of wayward cats. Their submissions were due last Friday, but predictably many were missing. So, I’m chasing up the missing bits while collating all the bits I have to make sense of them. We have about 40 submissions across 27 different categories and my job is to combine, shape and re-configure. It’s a bit like being given a couple of jigsaw puzzles and told to combine them into one picture.
This is full-on. Basically, the plan is to get this done by Christmas too, but a lot of this is very complex and comprehensive. It’s not something you can rush, but I have little time.
Then there’s my home writing. I paused it over the weekend – or rather all I did was go back and clean bits I’d already written. I’ve had a growing conviction over the last few weeks that I’d taken a wrong turn. More particularly, the story needed another element. I considered putting the book away for a month or two while I figured it out – no point continuing down the wrong path. But, as it happens, the mind continues to work away and I think a solution has come to me. It’s just an outline right now but I’m sure my mind will continue to furnish it with details.
So, that’s the story. That’s why I’ve been missing from these pages, and why I might continue to be absent. My mind is full of other things, and my time too – not forgetting I have to write a poem by Saturday as well.