“The days are long…

But the years are short,” Gretchen Rubin wrote once not too long ago. Have you ever read a truer truism? A more apt aphorism?

It feels like I’ve been struggling against the clock all year and even two months after completing the Commercial Fiction Masterclass with author Fiona McIntosh, I am still processing the lessons and applying them to my manuscript. Those five intense days in July seem a lifetime ago.

But that’s 2022 for you. Omicron seems like a thousand years ago. Christmas is 100 days away but it will feel like yesterday in 200.

It’s all a bit much.

In the mean time I’ve taught my first Write&Sip event. Is it possible this was the first event of its kind in the known universe? Other than the hundreds of boozy writers throughout history, has anyone else out there gathered writers together in a bar to learn about short story writing?

It was a great night and we’re planning the next.

I’ve written two stories for the Scarlet Stiletto Awards this year. I think they’re good stories but we shall see.

I’ve been working in the Day Job a lot. Fun. Not.

I’ve launched and judged a short story competition for my local writers association. My company donated the prize money for this year and next. I remember how thrilled I was to receive my prize cheque for my story How I Got This Tattoo so I wanted to share that experience with other writers.

I was among four judges from the committee of the writers association who read almost 52,000 words for the competition and recorded our scores using a brilliant spreadsheet created by our editor Kerri. Now we pass our shortlisted entries on to Lori-Jay Ellis, the CEO of the Queensland Writers Centre to choose the prize winners.

I’ve entered two other competitions, started spring cleaning, met a new writing group… I’m GSD. Getting Shit Dine. So why do I feel like time is getting away from me?

My sister sent me a link to Oliver Burkeman’s work. His latest book is Four Thousand Weeks- Time Management for Mortals. Four thousand is the number of weeks we live, give or take. After a quick calculation I see I’m sitting at about 2600 weeks. No wonder I can hear that damn clock.

This year my husband and I celebrate twenty five years of marriage. That’s 1300 weeks. I’ve been a mother for 1222 weeks. I’ve only been writing for about 300 weeks.

Glass half full? I’ve still got around 1400 weeks to go.


  1. cherbomb

    Wow! What an inspirational year you’re having! Now I have to figure out how many weeks I’ve got left. Or maybe not – could be a cup half empty event.
    Really enjoy your thought provoking writing, Christine.

    1. Christine Betts

      I’m not sure it’s healthy to remind ourselves of that ticking clock. I’ve always been hyper aware of it anyway. I can remember thinking ‘what if I never get to feel what it’s like to be in year 3?’ Ridiculous child I was. 🤷‍♀️

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