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Dealing with the Writus Interruptus

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TheWritingDeskI’m giving myself a self-imposed writer’s retreat this weekend. Nothing fancy. No escape to a deserted isle. No fancy conference or sponsored writing weekend. Just me moping about my house without real pants, cussing about how that word doesn’t work, and how these scenes need connected, and well, writing. This weekend works well because my family, who I dearly love but who interrupt my writing time most days, is busy with all manner of other things:  baseball tournament, festivals, friends, and extended family. So here I am, holing up in the Thrasher Studios Writing Study and pounding out the words and revisions. My hope is that I will polish up WHEN A RAVEN PECKS OUT YOUR NORMAL – basically connect the disjointed manuscript with the connection chapters it needs — finish editing a client’s manuscript, and send off a couple of short stories.

10913633_10205734966435730_109658982_nThese are lofty goals. Whatever I get done is better than if I’d be doing the Memorial Day mini vacation many Americans attempt. The retreat started this morning with a writing café with my fellow writers here in Twin Peaks Valley. And I’ve been going gangbusters thus far, save for a bit of time where I had to deal with #LifewithAutism. Then after a complete two hours of uninterrupted time my brain seemed to implode. I haven’t had that kind of uninterrupted time in…well, I can’t even recall. So, my brain started interrupting itself so I could continue. I’d get up and look at the girls in Poultryville (the ducklings are so stinking cute!). Check and see if I trapped a rabbit (my micro farm has been inundated with a rabbit raiding party that I’ve slowly and surely been relocating via a live trap). Oh, right, now I need a drink. Maybe I should pet the dog a bit before I write this next scene…the self-interruptions went on for more than an hour straight before I sat back down and got about 1,000 words written.

being-a-good-writerThen I decided to do some editing. Less than fifteen minutes into it, I needed to get up and move around again, this time checking to see if I had a certain ingredient for a meal tonight. Nope. Maybe I should go to the store. Nah. I need to write.

I sit down to write and I’m like, this is crazy I can’t think straight because the house is too quiet and still. Why are you complaining? I ask myself. This is what you wanted. Peace. Quiet. Writing Time.

keepcalmNow I have it, glorious unfettered access to writing time,  and I am intimidated. What if I don’t get it all done? What if no one likes the words? What if I’m wasting my time? What if. What if. What if.

So, I wrote all this out to perhaps make the self-interruptions stop and real work to get done. A writing spell, if you will. It’s time to stop being afraid of what I’ll accomplish and get it done.

How do you distract yourself? Why do you stop writing when you could be writing? Apparently my creative brain is so used to distraction and interruption, I’m unable to clearly focus when I actually get some quiet writing time.

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Published inPoor Man's MFAWrite Life

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