Where’s the focus at?

I am worrying about my hair-band.

Strange thing to worry about, you may say.

It’s a very cheerful hair-band, borrowed from my daughter; pillar-box red with a bobbly, smiling Santa Clause dangling from a holly leaf. Bright, unseasonably festive, tangled with strands of Aoife’s titian hair.

Not the most appropriate hair-band, however, for meeting agents in one-to-one appointments. All my own bands have snapped (thick hair problems: many broken hair-bands) and I’m worried I’ll forget to buy new ones and, come Friday, Santa will be grinning at the agents from the top of my ponytail.

And what about my clothes? Will my ‘smart’ trousers be smart enough? Will the fact they are bright blue (petrol blue is the name, though hardly reminiscent of petrol itself. ) be off-putting? Will the agents think them too blue?

I’m getting my haircut next Thursday. What if it’s cut too short, or the colour becomes brassy or the scissors slip or the straighteners burn a hole in my ear? Will I still be able to go to the Winchester Writers’ Festival if I have third degree burns to my ear?

I am not panicking. I have nothing whatsoever to panic about. Everything from my elevator pitch to my open mic performance has been rehearsed to a T (and did you notice I said performance, not just reading? Expect jazz hands, people.) I have a wonderful opportunity to meet friends, pitch to agents and editors, refine my work and learn wonderful things.

It is an opportunity.

It is exciting.

It is not a reason to panic. Or worry. Or get nervous.

But still, I am worrying about my hairband, my petrol blue trousers, the possibility of having my ear burnt off at the hairdressers. And what unnecessary worries these are, because we all recognise their irrelevance. Agents and editors won’t care less about hair-bands, trouser colours, massive, protruding bandages covering half of my head….

All they care about is the quality of my work. But that is a little too scary to think about right now.

I’ll worry about my hair-band instead.


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