An MFRW Post – And check out the other great blogs on the hop!
I am easily distracted. It might be a writer thing, it might be a me thing, but I find that every single event, noise, conversation or car alarm in neighborhood has the ability to draw me out of my writing zone and far away. Sometimes, it’s a good thing. Being easily distracted also means I’m easily inspired, and many of those conversations and animals–not the car alarm, not ever the car alarm– have inspired elements in stories past and undoubtedly will in the future.
But when I don’t need inspiration, but instead need motivation, a drive to push through my morning to do list, I shut the doors to my office tight.
And for good reason.
My boyfriend and I still live with my parents, in a pink Victorian house built somewhere around 1901. My parents occupy the bedroom suite and office upstairs, and for the summer we had the second floor to ourselves. But as of yesterday, my younger brother’s return from his summer camp job has taken away some of that privacy and added another grown adult to a house of now five, along with pets, close-living grandparents and very friendly neighbors.
Not only can I hear everything in the kitchen, backyard and bathroom from my bedroom/office, but the dog barks because he’s afraid to go up the stairs (in a three story house…), my grandparents visit several times a week with their six-month old puppy, the cat has a lovely habit of screeching like an exotic bird before he vomits and the entire, ancient, aged building creeks like rafters in a Dickens novel. You can’t possibly get around our home with any measure of stealth.
And no one really tries to either.
Where my mother goes, the dog goes, howling for all the world. Where my dad goes, the business phone and booming Italian voice go. Where my brother–the actor– goes, a baritone version of some popular Broadway song will undoubtedly accompany. For some perspective, he’s been home less than twelve hours after a summer away and today, when I desperately needed to be working on a manuscript due in less than a week, he asked if I wanted to see something cool. Sure. Cool is fine.
Cool is a one inch eyebrow hair he apparently found this morning. Can I get a welcome to the jungle?
Don’t get me wrong. Living in this crazy house has given me more inspiration and support than I could have ever dreamed. My family is loud and annoying, they’re artists filled with big ideas and passion and joy and drive. I’m lucky beyond words to share in that drive and curiosity and excitement.
But I am also a working writer, and the not-sexy part, the lonely, sometimes very lame part of being a writer is when you plant your ass in the chair and write. Or edit. Or market. Or blog. Because this isn’t an artistic passion or a hobby, not exclusively. This is a business, and I have to treat it as such.
So, though I can still hear them, though right now they are discussing cheese quesadillas and the oncoming eclipse in the kitchen below, I shut my door to the noises of the house. It doesn’t block out all sounds, but that’s okay. After all, if a little of the crazy didn’t seep in every once in awhile, where would I get all the inspiration for my books? ♦