Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Writing despite a fragmented mind

Alone, upstairs, every day starts fresh, like this--

Goal: Revise twenty pages of current WIP.
Motivation: This is it! I know this is the one! This new story is going to open the door to publishing for me!

Conflict: So much chaos to control. (Thanks, Get Smart!

Reality attacks the minute I exit the bubble, like this--
Descend stairs with an empty coffee cup and sheets to be washed. Eeek! Toilet paper strewn at the bottom of the stairs explains my husband’s last overheard remark before heading to the office: “Where’d you get that?” 
I knew he wasn’t speaking to me. Now I know he was speaking to the puppy. 
And no, the man with two hands and a strong back did not pick up the soggy wads of tp. Puppy now lies flat on his side, sweetly sleeping with a faint smile on his black doggy lips. 
Drop the sheets in front of the laundry door. Set the coffee cup by the pot. Empty packet of sweetener into cup. Turn the warmer back on. Grab trash bag. Pick up rubbish. Throw bag down to lower stair landing for later retrieval. Neaten what remains of the tp roll. Stash it in the cabinet above the back of the toilet in guest bath. 
No, DH, you didn’t find the roll there because we’d run out. It was there because so much tp has been victimized lately. It’s the tp-protection plan. 
Return to counter to pour second cup of coffee. Honestly can’t remember whether I already sprinkled in the sweetener or not. Examine swill in bottom of cup. Residue indicates: probably. Pour cup. Taste. Fine. 
To washer. Drop in whites. Looks like a two-load day. Add detergent and fabric softener. 
There’s recycling on the counter waiting to go downstairs. And a drool-spotted floor to  be mopped before guests arrive for the weekend. 
Draw the line. 
Until next human, animal, or machine interruption, write. 
Arrrgh! Left reading glasses upstairs. Fetch. (Oooohhh--probably have already burned off one serving of coffee creamer!) 
Now. Really. Writing. 
That’s how it goes for me. What about you? Do you have any tricks or tips that help you settle down to work? 


M.V.Freeman said...

Oh, you had me laughing!

Isn't this the truth?! My trick is--I get my coffee. My water. Turn on music (if you use it) and write for at least thirty minutes before I get up.

I repeat this frequently.

I also ignore things. *Avoids the pile of laundry that once again needs folding--seriously does it breed?*

But I can get better and I will. My current distraction is social media. I need to turn it off as I write or it all goes to heck.

Oh and finally. More coffee. or Tea. My solution to everything..ha!

Chris Bailey said...

Mary, I try so hard to write before I really get up. If I check email first, my brain begins to sizzle with the urgent-not-important stuff time manager types warn you about.

Writing first is a great goal. Even if I have to get up earlier!

Lexi said...

Fear and good old Catholic guilt . . . which is odd, since I am not, and never have been, Catholic. There are, however, Dunbergs on my mother's side, so I'm thinking maybe the guilt has another source ...

Carla Swafford said...

I've always heard a routine is the key. Like Mary, I write with music playing. When the music is on, it's like my brain knows it must create. Sometimes I listen to Japanese rock and roll (can't understand a word, so less likely to sing-a-long), but mainly classical, especially Chopin. Piano really does it for me.

Louisa Cornell said...

This is hilarious ! And so very real! With me it is the cats who seem to think any day is a good day to throw their own tickertape parade using the roll of tp I forgot to put in the feline-safe cabinet.

I know a routine is important in writing. I just wish the other inhabitants of this house knew it!

I am constantly interrupted by squirrel alerts, deer alerts, bird alerts and wind blowing through the trees alerts. It is difficult to get into writing a love scene when the dogs have just scared you to death barking at nothing.

Getting up early is out of the question most days. I have to be up at six in order to be at work by seven. Earlier than six is considered UNGODLY NO MAN'S LAND territory in this house. NOT a morning person at all!

Chris Bailey said...

This month, I've started using a timer (like for billable hours) and I find that I will sit still longer if I'm on the clock.

Carla, I love piano. And guitar. Words bring me out of story land, so I would have to stick to instrumental. Or Japanese rock--that's funny!

Lexi, I fear the sources of guilt are unlimited.

Louisa, my cat is so well-behaved! Except when she knocks items off the counter for the puppy to chew. I'm not a morning person, either, but I can write while still groggy. At least, while I'm still groggy I think so.

Suzanne Johnson said...

Too funny, Chris! If you saw my house you'd know my solution immediately: ignore the housework. I won't let anyone in my house without at least three days' warning!