Did you ever notice whenever you’re trying to write the world finds its way to your door? Your phone won’t stop going off, everyone in your family is bleeding, and the house keeps catching fire? Even if you try to sneak in a few minutes at work during lunchtime, there’s always some needy coworker who thinks you’re The Help Desk, Dr. Phil and Google all rolled up in one. When does it stop?
I don’t know about you, but when I’m deep into a project, I usually have forty things vying for my attention, when there’s only one place I want to direct it–into the work. True, you can’t shut down the world, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could? Every once in a while, especially when you’re at a critical juncture, wouldn’t it be nice to scream “GET OUT OF MY FACE!” and slam the door? This is especially evident when you’re at the early stages of your career, when you’re either not yet published or Published Without Substantial Royalty Checks (lot of you out there, I hear you), and very few, outside of your critique partners and maybe your mother, take you seriously. And this goes double if you happen to be female. Hey, I’m not going all sexist on you, but there IS a double standard when it comes to Writing While Woman. We’re still expected to go to the outside, schlep groceries, fold the socks, corral the kids and magically produce dinner. Who was that romance writer who used to haul her typewriter into the laundry room and work while the spin cycle spun? This is what we have to put up with. AND we can’t expect anyone to take over these duties until our future bestsellers actually become bestsellers and we get to hire help. Now, that’s what I call incentive!
Don’t get me wrong. As I said, you can’t block out the world, and you can’t expect everyone to understand your obsession. And Sweetie does give me the time I need (mostly). But for cryin’ out loud, sometime you just have to be a selfish bastard to get anything done, and what’s wrong with that? At least in the creative stage, there’s not much about writing that’s a group effort and there are times when a slammed door is an absolute necessity. And it doesn’t have anything to do with my not loving you or I don’t care the cat barfed on the bed or that you’ll end up a shriveled husk for wont of a chicken pot pie. Believe it when I say that I won’t love you any less if you disappear for the afternoon. But I’ll love you a whole lot if you allow me to spend just a few hours playing my imaginary friends. Trust me, in the long run it’ll benefit both of us. And you’ll be living with much less insane person.
Now will you get out of my face?