My Writing Time is Non-Negotiable
by Heather Humphrey
The sign on my bedroom door is a sticky note on which I've scrawled "I'm Writing, GO AWAY!" It's proven to be a wildly ineffective tool. One of the 3 other residents I share this space with will see the note and either walk away loudly dejected or timidly tap at the door, with flagrant disregard for their lives. Lucky for them, my cohabitants are the people I love most in the world, my two teenagers and my husband. So whether I'm stuck and feeling like the only person on the planet ever to experience writers block or I'm having a stream of fortune with cleverly crafted sentences simply flying across the page, chances are pretty good that I'm not going to kill one of my little interrupters. I will definitely threaten to, but never actually perform the act. My therapist assures me that it is normal to wish ill for those who disregard the need for occasional solitude.
The CBS Sunday morning program interviewed the adult children of Erma Bombeck this past Mother's Day. They claim they knew when mother was writing and not to disturb her. "Mommy has a deadline, we must leave her alone!" How nice for her. I bet if she were alive for the interview her story would be different. I prefer to picture her sitting at her writing desk with a shiny dagger within reach and wielding it wildly with a primal scream when one of her little interruptions dared to tap at her door.
It's ok to sequester yourself and expect to be allowed the time to write. Time and space to allow creativity to flourish and burst forth is essential to writing. Practicing our craft and nurturing our works in progress are what keep us sane and more pleasant to be around. The only way to be fulfilled as a writer, is to write. Seeing our work through drafts, edits, rewrites and to completion is what feeds our soul. Can't get a minute for yourself? Respect your writer self enough to do what you need. Rent a room down the block, drive to that abandoned house in the woods that everyone thinks is haunted, borrow a room from a relative, set up camp at the bagel shop. Where ever you go; write, write, and write.
It's taken a while to take my writing seriously enough to feel worthy of these shining moments of solitude. Getting it into my head that my role as writer is just as important as my other roles was an arduous task only made possible with a lot of coaching from my therapist. But here I am, a fierce protector of my writing time, wielding my silver dagger and perfecting my banshee scream. While distraction is inevitable when you are blessed to have a family, you can still be Mom/Wife/Dog Walker/ & Writer. Use some of the creativity that makes you a wonderful writer to bust the distraction factor. How do you deal with distraction?
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Heather Humphrey lives in Upstate New York with her 2 teenagers, husband and dog Lucy. Unpublished [so far ;0)] writer & regular contributor at http://www.examiner.com/x-39272-Binghamton-WorkLife-Balance-Examiner. She is currently working on a collection of poetry and short stories.
Heather Blogs at http://bigred909.wordpress.com/ and http://papergirl-bigred909.blogspot.com/.
Friend her on facebook at https://register.facebook.com/heather.humphrey3.
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