In the novel 1984, a noise goes off at regular intervals to spoil any chance of forming a coherent thought. To many parents out there this will sound very familiar. I’ve come to discover that my kids can find ways to entertain themselves that, while not silent, are not impossible to tolerate.
Of course, that is until I decide to try to sit and steal a few moments for myself. Somehow, immediately after typing the first few words there is howling and screaming as if the world is coming to an end. This is usually followed by running and simultaneous shouts of “he started it/she started!”
The other scenario involves a frightening silence, followed by a loud crashing sound, a gasp and the loudly whispered, “oh, no.” This scenario generally involves great confusion, the repetition of the phrases, “I don’t know,” and “I didn’t do it,” a time out or two and possible tears (sometimes my own)!
Writing is my first love. We have survived a number of false starts and periodic breaks. But once kids came along things changed dramatically, the breaks have gotten longer and the starts more challenging – like trying to start an old car that has been sitting untouched for years, the engine wants to turn over, but sometimes it just can’t.
These days I write when I can, stolen moments. This writing ends up in a number of places – sticky notes, envelopes, scrapes of paper, a multitude of notebooks, occasionally in the notepad of my phone and, of course, my computer.
So I have this idea, not revolutionary, just challenging. Morning pages. Many writers have managed to keep writing in their lives by using those quiet hours when the only sounds are the heavy sighs of sleep trying to lull them back to their beds. Without my children to blame, will I write, or will I allow the internet and social media to distract me and keep me from my goals?
When do you carve time to write? Do you procrastinate during that time? What distracts you? What helps you to focus?