There has been an atmosphere of controlled chaos at Wordsmith Towers today, with an undertone of hysteria threatening to break through at any moment. It's been a long day and I am exhausted.
I was balancing on a Swiss ball and taking instructions from my brand-new personal trainer, when the phone rang.
- I'd better get that, I muttered. I was sure it was going to be the Sunday paper that commissioned me yesterday. To my shock, it was a TV company asking me to appear on a news panel. My trainer was impressed as I fielded the call, hid my surprise and managed not to tumble on the floor.
After my trainer had gone, I sat down to rework - yet again - my draft column for the red-top. Meanwhile, the phone began ringing off the hook. The TV company, again. Someone who'd read an interview I gave for a PR firm's newsletter, wanting to offer me work. A freelance colleague I'd sent my draft article to for advice as this was an new arena for me (and thank gawd, as she diplomatically pointed out where I was going wrong and how to fix it). The long-suffering significant other calling from South America (don't ask). The red-top's picture desk ed, wanting to send a photographer so they'd have a decent byline pic.
I had earache by lunchtime from the phone calls and was also ravenous as I had forgotten breakfast. And yesterday's planned emergency supermarket dash had already been postponed to today and there was no time for it. If it hadn't been for the bar of milk chocolate I'd grabbed from the corner shop yesterday morning, I might have fainted from hunger.
I snarfed down the chocolate and carried on reworking the column until finally I felt happy with it. No sooner had that gone across the ether than the TV company began bombarding me with emails. And then the ed at the Sunday, wanting more details. When the phone rang yet again - this time a regional newshound wanting to cover my TV appearance - I was ready to weep.
But there was no let up. My daily editing jobs arrived and I was under pressure to turn them around fast. There's no escape from a 3-hour time difference when your client wants to go home for the night.
Finally, I stopped at 5.30. Then it was a mad dash to get out of my gym gear (which I hadn't had time to change out of) and get some make-up on and drag a brush through my hair. With seconds to spare I checked my now-acceptable appearance in the mirror and let the snapper in.
By the time he was done, so was I. Done in. Yikes, I'm glad I'm not a celebrity - I'd never be able to cope with demands for a piece of me on a daily basis.
Things I failed to do today:
- read the news (no time)
- chase some unpaid invoices
- chase some pitches for a response
- pay a cheque into the bank
- send an urgent invoice
- put the washing on
- eat properly
Things I stupidly did today:
- agreed to take on yet another editing assignment
- got the name of the TV presenter wrong on a forum, where I'll never live it down
- offered to help the TV company with location shoots on Friday in my home town (Am I mad? When I have deadlines?)
Things to look forward to tonight:
- fish and chips
* said with tongue firmly in cheek