I’ll Just Write Around You

flame box elder penMany of the successful writers talk about writing without being disturbed, with the door closed so to speak. Writing time should be treated as sacred and interruptions should be of the emergency variety only and kept to the bare minimum (sort of goes without saying that emergency situations in general should be kept to the bare minimum). They will happily tell you that this is a very important part of their success as writers.

I agree with them. My writing time is sacred. I take my writing seriously. Like all writers, I’m a good procrastinator, but I’ve managed to curb that somewhat, and having two day jobs helps because I can only write during specific times and that definitely makes a difference. My writing time is important.

However, I’m the only one in my house that thinks so.

I write with my door closed, but it does not stay closed. The people in my house cannot stand a closed door.

I live in a house with my dad and a friend. During the day, the two of them will make multiple trips into my room to talk to me. They talk to me about things they’ve read on the Internet, episodes of TV shows (that I don’t watch and don’t want to watch), whatever is going on in the news, celebrity gossip, the latest political bullshit, this, that, and the other. Sometimes the conversation is only a few minutes; sometimes “I just need to tell you one thing” turns into thirty minutes to two hours. This happens every day. And it happens when I’m writing.

It’s happening right now as I’m typing this blog post, actually. My roommate has been talking to me about Project Runway (that I don’t watch), asking questions about the movie I’ve got on (The Ghoul), asking about arranging a movie date with her and my nieces, telling me about what the cats did upstairs.

I pretty much wrote everything until this point while she talked to me. That’s how I end up having to get my work done a lot of the time. I just write around the people in my house. Because if I don’t, I will get nothing done.

I can’t do this all the time. Sometimes, whatever I’m working on requires more attention than I can manage while listening to someone else talk and sometimes, whatever someone else is talking about requires more attention than I can manage while writing. Which is pretty frustrating because that means I either don’t get everything done that I want to get done in the allotted time or I end up working much later than I anticipated and other things I wanted to do don’t get done.

Why don’t I say something to them? Well, I have. But, since my writing schedule is inconsistent due to my day jobs and the demands of whatever project or projects I’m working on during any given day, they can’t tell if I’m working or not. And if I tell them I’m working, they either get offended that I don’t want to hear about the latest episode of Bar Rescue or about what Abby Lee Miller did now, or they assure me that whatever they have to say will “only take a minute” and talk to me anyway.

Why don’t I go somewhere else and write? I would, but I’m actually not really comfortable writing in public spaces. I would prefer to write in the space I’m most comfortable in as I tend to be the most productive there and that place is…my room.

Which sometimes reminds me of a bus terminal during bad weather and all of the buses are late: you can’t escape from the conversations.

My dad and my friend aren’t bad people. It’s not that they don’t care that I’m trying to write. It’s not like they’re purposely trying to sabotage me in my efforts.

It’s just that my writing time isn’t important to them. But it’s sacred to me.

So, I write around them.

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