I've been feeling a little bit in limbo these past couple of weeks, and it's all Mslexia's fault.
Obviously it's really my fault but it's easier to lay the blame on a faceless external entity. And if we're being truthful here, I would admit that - despite my best efforts otherwise - I have placed far too much hope in this novel competition.
The longlist is due out this month and since the deadline in September - or probably before that - I've held it up as The Standard at Which to Aim. If I get longlisted, my brain says, my writing is good enough.
All attempts to get my brain to shut the hell up have thus far been in vain.
I am perfectly aware that the Mslexia competition isn't the be-all and end-all. I know this. But it doesn't stop the brain and it doesn't stop my first thought on reaching home in the evenings from being 'has there been any post?'
I need to think about something else. I need a distraction. And a useful, productive distraction (for all that watching cat videos on youtube has its appeal).
Book three seems like quite a good option.