Teen Daughter had her driving test today.
She was understandably nervous, not least because it's been cancelled twice already, due to bad weather, and she has to keep psyching herself up. Then her instructor decided to give up teaching at the eleventh hour, and passed her over to someone she'd never met before, with a car she's never driven.
It brought back horrible memories of my first test. I say first because it took me, ahem, four go's to pass. I was quite confident the first time, not really knowing what to expect, and thought I'd done well but I failed. They're not allowed to tell you why, at least they weren't back then, so after that nerves got the better of me. On my second test I was so determined to pass my mind went completely blank and I failed coming out of the test centre, which was unfortunately situated on a hill. On my third test I couldn't stop shaking and accidentally accelerated out of a junction, instead of braking, and narrowly missed getting hit by a lorry. The examiner looked a bit faint.
The fourth time I was eight months pregnant with the twins, and could barely squeeze behind the wheel. The examiner, a steely-eyed woman with a look of the traffic warden about her, looked at me and hissed, "Don't think you'll get preferential treatment just because you're pregnant." Charming, I thought, convinced I'd already failed. I must have relaxed at that point. I even remember thinking what a lovely day it was. Blue sky, etc.
Naturally I passed, and I was thinking about this today while my baby girl was being put through her paces.
It's been a similar tale with the writing (there had to be a link somewhere!) First Ever Novel was written quickly and confidently and sent out straight away. Nicely rejected, but rejected all the same. I became nervous. Started trying too hard, and thinking all the time about getting published, instead of just writing.
So maybe it's time to relax and enjoy the journey again, and perhaps the rest will take care of itself.
At least I'm not likely to be hit by a lorry. Unless I'm writing by the side of the road. And a learner driver comes careering round the bend ...
Sadly, she didn't pass. I baked her a chocolate cake just in case and I think she's feeling better about it now. I reckon she'll do it next time.