Day eight … what do you think of the show so far?

Congratulations! You made it through the first week. So tell me, how has it been?

Good in parts. There have been some amazing highs and a couple of spectacular lows.

Tell me about one of the highs

Finishing the very first blog post. That was brilliant. I almost didn’t make it. It was Saturday evening. I’m self-employed, so weekends are a bit of a non-event. I’d worked all day, and I didn’t sit down to start writing until about 8.30 pm. If it hadn’t been for a friend who raised the stakes by insisting on a fine of £12.50 for every day I failed, I would have fallen at the first fence. The sheer elation of seeing that first post and knowing I’d succeeded was incredible. And totally unexpected.

And a low?

Thursday evening. That was the worst. Waiting in Tesco’s for a paramedic to arrive. Watching the time slip away. Knowing it would be too late to write by the time I got home. And being utterly unable to do anything about it.

Sounds bad. What happened?

All I wanted wanted was a bottle of wine. Oh, and a new pair of slippers. The soles are falling off these. I’d been indoors most of the day, so I thought I’d wander up to Tesco’s. It would give me time to think about what I was going to write, and a glass of wine would be good when I finished. The bottle I wanted was on the bottom shelf. As I picked it up there was a sharp pain in the back of my head. Then a loud smash. The man next to me had dislodged half a dozen small bottles from the top shelf. One of them broke on my head. The rest ended up on the floor all round me.

Ouch! I guess you didn’t write much that evening, then?

Not really. I still felt quite dazed when the paramedic dropped me home. I posted a photo of the bottle of wine and a brief explanation on the blog.

Did that affect your motivation?

Yes. Definitely. To be honest, it was hard to write the following day. I’m a closet perfectionist and I really felt I’d failed. I wanted to throw in the towel. But I’d had a request from a donor to write about a specific subject, so I tackled that last night. I ended up writing around 800 words, although the piece isn’t ready to go on the blog yet. I felt much better after that, so I think I’m back on track now.

Tell me about this ‘perfectionist’ thing

Do I have to?


Dammit. That’s the trouble with being interviewed by someone who actually understands me.

Go on then

Oh all right. I hate getting anything wrong. I’d rather do nothing than make a mess of something or a fool of myself. It’s the reason for all those unfinished jumpers and novels. And all the unread books on the shelf. All right, Dr Freud?

Unread books?

I might spoil them if I read them. Crease the pages. Break the spines. That kind of thing. Now, can we change the subject, please?

Hmmm … so do you think this challenge is going to make a difference?

I’m hoping to raise lots of money for One25. They make a massive difference to the lives of street sex workers in Bristol. If you go to you can encourage me by donating. You can also suggest a topic for me to write about, or a title for a short story …

Yes, yes. I know all that. What about the perfectionist?

I thought we were changing the subject. But that’s the thing isn’t it? You start out doing something for other people. You think you’re going to change somebody else’s world for the better, but you end up receiving far more than you can ever give. This crazy challenge may end up changing my life for ever. I only hope it will also make a difference to the lives of some of the incredible women I’ve met at One25.


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