I tried to write a novel

Me: Let me write a novel. A murder mystery about a young mother. I can do it. I will win a prize. Or maybe not. I’ll self-publish if I have to. Let me just write this thing. The children will watch TV. I will not feel guilty.

Inspiration level: 100%. Motivation level: 100%

“The last time I gave birth in this hospital, the nurses had been lovely, reassuring me gently when I baulked at having an enema inserted and my privates shaved. They’d allowed me to suck on chips of ice and instructed Ashish to rub my back as I whimpered in pain. They’d whisked away the bloodied and beslimed blue alien I gave birth to and returned in my arms a tiny pink newborn girl with a soft cotton cap on her head. Hours later, the room had been festive, festooned with pink balloons and filled with proud relatives.

[MAMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, Where is my PONY bottle? I need my PONY bottle. Why are you so mean MAMAAAAAAAAA]

Me: Stop it. The bottle is in the fridge. Now WATCH TV. EAT CHIPS. EAT SUGAR. Just be quiet.

Inspiration level: 75%. Motivation level: 85%

“And today, here I am, getting ready to give birth again, 3cm dilated after a steady drip of drugs to coax the baby out from the comfort of my womb. Some of the nurses that flit in and out of the room look familiar, but I can no longer be sure. The smiles from my memories are absent; they can barely look at me. “You don’t know the whole story,” I want to shout but I don’t because my lawyer has told me to not say anything that could make me look worse than I….”

[MAMAAAAAAAAA. Can you wipe my POTTY? Mammaaaaaa. I’ve done POTTY]

Potty is wiped.

Inspiration level: 65%. Motivation level: 60%

“….already do. Instead I say, “Can I move around a bit, please? It helps with the pain.” The nurse gazes at the monitor, her face impassive. After a few minutes of silence, she says, “We don’t allow too much movement during the induction process. We need to see how the labour is going.” She is polite but there’s an edge to her voice. “Please,” I say. “They let me move more than this last time, I had an induction then too.” She finally looks at me, and offers the facsimile of a smile. “Maybe you hadn’t….”

[Mamaaaaaaa he’s peeing on the floor. Mamaaa SUSU, there is SUSU on the floor.]

Susu is cleaned.

Inspiration level: 65%. Motivation level: 60%

“… killed anyone back then. I’ll be back in half an hour.” She briskly adjusts the sheets around me, and walks towards the door. “Can you at least put on the fan for me?” I yell after her. She does not reply, as she shuts the door behind her with a sharp click.


Me: What?

Daughter: I love you

Son: I love you.

Me: I love you. How about getting some Paw Patrol on?

Inspiration level: 35%. Motivation level: 25%

“The room is silent except for occasional beeps from the machine. Nothing seems amiss, except that there is no Ashish to hold my hand. My mother has not answered my message…”

Mamaaaaa. Ma’am told me that you need to help me research on festivals. Can we do it now?

Me: No.

Daughter: Please can we do it now? Please? Please?

Me: What’s wrong with watching TV?

Daughter: It’s bad for my brain.

Me: I’ll be there in 10 minutes.

Inspiration level: 15%. Motivation level: 5%


Three-year-old son bounds in and sits on lap. Punches the keyboard a few times.

Inspiration level: 0%. Motivation level: 0%

Moral of the story: It’s impossible to write a novel with two small children in the house.

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