|Lava in Lake Nyiragong|
The things I do all day matter and I have freely chosen to do them. But other things matter, too, and it's time to find a way to do some of them. So Stroppy is open for business again. Writing matters to me, and the fate of writers matters to me, and that children have access to books - good books. And these books don't write themselves, you know.
This year I am Chair of the Educational Writers' Group in the Society of Authors. There will be events (for EWG, I mean - I rarely do events-as-writer since the carbon dioxide of publicity chokes me). This year I will write all the books I'm contracted to write and I might even make real progress on one or two non-contracted projects. Because if I don't do it now, I will regret and resent that I didn't.
It's difficult to draw a line around what to do for others, and how far to let short-term demands compromise long-term aims or needs. I would rather have loved and cared for people dear to me than have written 250 books instead of 200 books. No one will miss those 50 books; even I will only miss two or three of them. I am a firm believer in sorting out what matters to you and prioritising it, regardless of what other people think should matter or what they want you to do. I would rather spend a day looking after MicroBint than doing a school visit, so that's what I'll do. But there must be balance, too. It's important to seek out those two or three books I'd miss and make sure I write them. And, of course, write enough books to pay for sticks to keep the wolf from the door. It would be nice if they could be the same books, but that's asking a lot.
Legend tells that Empedocles threw himself into the volcanic crater of Mount Etna, keen to prove his immortality (or to be turned into a god). I'm not going that far. But I feel it's time to do a bit of prising apart of those dark wodges of time and let the red-hot ooze come out, fiery and enthusiastic to run downhill. Move aside, dark wodges....