I realize I’m no James Patterson, the best-selling author in the world, as my writing, to date, has been more of an expensive hobby than an income producer. Nevertheless, I am trying to work my way into the serious pursuit category of writing, which takes a lot of time. Finally, I have a few publications under my belt. The downside is my writing expenses still vastly exceed my writing income. That’s okay. I’m getting my name out there and having fun. I’m finding, however, that those closest to me still consider my writing a hobby; therefore, constant interruptions are perfectly okay. It’s not like writing is money, so there is no need to respect my time at the computer in the same way, as say, my time at the veterinary clinic. Of course, one advantage when I worked away from home was not being home to be constantly interrupted.
For example, a while back, I was trying to finish a paragraph for an article I was writing. I got interrupted to pick up my son from school because his sports practice was canceled. This was after numerous other interruptions all day, not including running down to the laundry room every ten minutes to check on the permanent press in the dryer. It also did not include the many robocalls from Cathy at the credit bureau, Denise from the resort where I stayed (did not), the IRS telling me to call a garbled number right away or there would be legal action taken against me, or the Fraternal Order of Police wanting a donation. It also did not include all the phone calls to Hubby who, at the time, was home trying to pass a kidney stone, although his callers did preface the calls by saying they hated to bother him, but . . . (Seriously, couldn’t people just let the Percocet-buzzed man sleep in peace)? Unfortunately, he finally gave up and spent the next hour on Facebook or YouTube with funny videos featuring laugh tracks. This was right next to where I was trying to work.
In order to write, I have to “get in the zone.” When I get interrupted out of the “zone” it can be quite frustrating. So, when Younger Son wandered in at 4:30 and asked for the third time what was for dinner, and I told him for the third time I didn’t know, I was starting to get a little irritated.
“Can I make myself a frozen pizza?” he asked.
“No, you will eat what the rest of us eat,” I replied. Whatever that would be.
I just wanted to finish that one paragraph before forcing my brain to go in another direction, like what to make for dinner. With a solid, uninterrupted five to ten minutes, I should have been able to knock out those last few sentences.
But two minutes later, Hubby piped up, “Did you have anything particular in mind for dinner?”
Now honestly, the man has been married to me for over thirty years. If I had anything in mind for dinner, there would have been something simmering in the crock pot, baking in the oven, or thawing on the kitchen counter. Since there was none of the above, the answer should have been obvious. No, I did not have anything particular in mind for dinner. I was planning on finishing this one paragraph and then foraging the pantry, freezer, and refrigerator hoping to find something quick and easy to throw together.
Instead of saying this, however, I hit “save” and stomped into the kitchen, grumbling, “I guess I’ll go make dinner since everyone keeps bugging me about it!”
“That’s not what I meant,” he replied, wounded. “I meant was there anything I could do to help with dinner?”
Right. As if I need the guilt on my conscience for not taking care of my hungry, kidney stone-passing husband in his time of need. And like I was going to allow my Percocet-brain husband to cook when half the time he forgets to turn the stove off when he’s not in a drug-induced fog. What he really meant, but was afraid to say, was more along the lines of, “I’m hungry. Are you ever going to get up from the computer and go make dinner?”
The one good thing to come out of that frustrating afternoon was one more idea for a blog. Of course, when I sat down to write it after dinner before going to church, Younger Son kept running into the bedroom to interrupt me, the phone kept ringing, and the dogs needed to go out. The unfinished magazine article got put on indefinite hold.
I’ll bet James Patterson doesn’t have these problems.