Distraction is the enemy of the writing process, and it’s a wily enemy.
Because we do a lot of our writing at home, we are subject to a particular virulent strain known as Domestic Distraction (DD.) When we sit down to write (often hiding from our children and other family members) we can pretty much predict the ambush.
Actually, Cathy just sent me this email describing a recent writing session at her home:
“Well, right now I’m trying to work, and I have four kids running in and asking for popcorn and drinks. And one of them is 14! And the phone keeps ringing. And the dog is barking. I had a dentist appointment this morning, and now the renovators are coming in half an hour and I have to get the whole kitchen cleaned before they get here. How much writing do you think I’ve actually done today? Slightly less than tweet-length.”
Sounds about right. Sometimes it really is best to get out of the house to write. Go to a coffee shop. Try the library. Anywhere that the people won’t mean anything to you, and the surroundings will mean even less.
But if you can’t slip away, you might as well laugh. Here, in no certain order, are some of the recent issues that have had the temerity to disturb us at our writing desks.
- The house is too cold. It’s winter. It’s New England, but seriously my fingers hurt.
- The dog wants out. Now he wants in. Now he wants back out.
- The neighbors’ kids are really into screaming. In their backyard. At full volume.
- My 5-year-old has been too quiet for too long.
- My 5-year-old has been unbearably noisy for too long.
- Ah, the always inspiring: “Mommy, can you come wipe my bum?”
- I need coffee.
- I’ve had too much coffee.
- Man, a turkey sandwich sounds good right now.
- I’ll just check Facebook for a second…
Care to share your own DD?