I’m Going to Write 10,000 Words Today by Brigid O’Connor

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By Brigid O'Connor

If you enjoyed Brigid O’Connor’s Star Signs for Writers last week, we have more from her this week as she prepares to…get writing…

I’m going to write today if it kills me.

I’m going to write 10,000 words, 10,000 amazing words.

I’m going to be James Joyce, I am going to invent words that scholars from far and wide will gasp out loud about and devote courses to me. I’m going to have a plaque over my door that tour buses will drive by and wonder how such a normal house could contain such writing genius.


I’m just going to make the school lunches first of course.

Such motherly devotion, I should be in a Renoir painting,

-Mother nurturing her young-

hanging in the Louvre, perfect tasteful morsels in two lunchboxes, sun-ripened peaches and blocks of cheese ripening in wax paper.


O.K. someone forgot to go to Tesco last night, it’ll have to be plastic cheese and I’m sure half a blackened banana each will be fine.

Do I have to do everything here for crying out loud ?

Did James Joyce stop writing to find sports kit or sponge yesterday’s uniforms to make them look line-fresh ?

I don’t think so.


BOOKCLUBBLUEOk, I’m going to write 5,000 words today, less is more of course.

Children despatched to school, off to nurture their minds or build up more requests for nintendo games and Ugg boots.


But I am above such monetary concerns, I am Joyce and Beckett combined, words spinning in my brain dripping with beauty.


The ‘spinning around’ reminds me to load the washing machine and while I’m at it the dishwasher.

Did Jane Austen have to put up with such racket?

Machines are removing me from my genius writing zone.


I’m at one with my desk and my keyboard. The masterpiece will begin…..

I’m just going to clean the keyboard, someone was eating what looks like the contents of a bread factory on it last night.

Oh, God the sun is shining, I’m going to be all 50s housewife now and hang my darling family’s clothes on the line.

I’ll be at one with nature, phrases about sun and birdsong already leaping into my brain to battle their way into my masterpiece…..

Who took the bloody pegs ?? Blinking school projects, half my household supplies have made their way into classrooms attached to monstrosities created late in the evening labelled ‘art’.


Back to the keyboard and I begin my work.

I modestly title it ‘The Masterpiece’.

It’s starting flipping raining, out to the garden, not feeling so at one with nature now I can tell you, wet underwear dimming my mood a tad.

Now it’s lunch time, creep creep goes the clock accelerating towards the witching hour that is school pick up time.

Even Joyce had to eat, for goodness sake, plastic cheese and the last blackened banana it is.

I’ll eat fast and get 1,000 words in, I’ll be realistic and compose the other 4,000 words in my head at the school gate, while pretending to listen to the other mothers tell me about Xfactor.

I’m a creative genius, dammit, I’m allowed be weird and pale and interesting.

OK, it’s the witching hour, the masterpiece will have to wait. I’ll just write my shopping list, it’ll be good writing practice.


Tomorrow, I’ll write tomorrow, I know I will, I’m going to write 10,000 words tomorrow, actually 20,000 amazing, insightful words.

I’m going to do it if it kills me.

(c) Brigid O’Connor

Brigid O’Connor writes short stories, flash fiction and the occasional poem.   She has written two film screenplays and is currently writing her first novel  -‘Elevation’, a contemporary bittersweet family drama set in Dublin.

Her work has been short-listed for the Francis MacManus Short Story Competition, the RTE Guide /Penguin Short Story Competition, included in the New Irish Writing Page in The Irish Independent and a finalist in the Novelicious UK’s First Chapter Competition.  She was a runner up in the DRB Flash Fiction competition .

Her work has been broadcast on radio and included in anthologies such as ‘The Quiet Quarter’, ’50 stories for Pakistan’, ‘New Planet Cabaret’ edited by Dave Lordan and a Boyne Berries issue.

She was selected as a contributor to the Junior Cert Curriculum ‘Personal Writing Section’.

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