Monday, January 9, 2012

Picky, picky

Wow! I am amazed and humbled that people are not only reading this but actually following my blog. And the Twitter followers (Meg Cabot?! Fabulous YA and adult writer?!? Too cool!)! Thank you for taking the time to read, and enough interest to follow. I will try to keep you entertained.

It's cold and rainy here in North Texas....a perfect day to write! I happen to be one of those picky writers. I prefer a quiet people. Unfortunately, that isn't always possible. I have two vocal dogs (Lady and Duchess) who tend to bark at invisible people. Lady, especially, will lie down next to a bedroom window that faces the street. The windows are long and only a few inches above the floor. Lady places her chin on the sill and watches, diligently, for possible intruders. Initial warnings come in the form of a low growl, and quickly grow to barking.   Duchess gets the message: Trouble! (I can't help but think of "Lost in Space" robot that waved his arms and announced "Danger, Will Robinson!" but, of course, one must be of a certain age to remember that!). Then both of them race outside through the dog door to defend the realm. It's comforting to be so well protected, but it can also be LOUD!

The other semi-distracting entity to my writing space is my sweet husband. We both work at home, in one office. We get along very well (good thing, huh?) and truly enjoy spending time together. We love to ride motorcycles, play pool, travel, and any other mischief we can find. The "issue" (I won't designate it as a "problem" because it's kinda cute) comes up when I want to a quiet room...all by myself. The Husband tries really, really hard to leave me alone, but, bless his pea-pickin' li'l heart, he just can't help himself. After an hour or so, he becomes convinced that I am bored or need something. And he checks in on me.

"Want anything from the kitchen, hon?"

"No, love, I'm fine. Thanks!"

I'll be good for another hour or so, and then...

"How ya doing, love?"

"Doing OK, thanks!" (This may or may not be said through gritted teeth.)

I might get another hour if I can devise an errand or chore to occupy him. Eventually, guilt sends me back out to re-join the world. Sometimes it's frustrating, but luckily I find it very sweet. He loves me; I love him. How can an interruption here and there, in the grand scheme of things, be a bad thing? Especially when its motivation is spending time together.

The result? I'm learning how to write in the more public areas of our home, with the TV blaring, dogs barking, and the Husband making comments and asking questions. Not so picky, picky after all.

How do you handle interruptions? What do you when your focus shifts (with the help of external sources)? Do you struggle to get it back, or go with the flow?

Have you been there?


  1. The men of the family (from the next to the youngest to the oldest) have what we Valentine women lovingly (?) call the Valentine scowl when they are in deep concentration! They, like 99% if not 100% of men are 'singled focused'! So DO NOT disturb them! The women, myself included, being wives and mothers are able to not only multi task, but also multi focus! Therefore when I am in deep concentration working on photos or writing and have my concentration interrupted, I sigh turn my attention to where needed and then quickly pick back up where I left off! :)

  2. Your brain works better than mine! lol Here's an interesting note: I went to an audiologist to have my hearing checked. I seriously thought I might be going deaf (it does run on my mother's side of the family). My hearing was fine and the doctor told me that women of a certain age often come in to get their hearing checked, but have no hearing problems. The real problem is the multi-tasking; we are so busy doing so many different things, that we only "catch" a fraction of what's going on around us. I guess the answer to that, for me, is to try to be here now as much as possible! Thanks, Judy!

  3. Hey Claire,
    I have a very loving husband as well. When he gets into that clingy mode (my description, certainly not his) I look at how much HIM time I have allotted lately. He get's that way because I am a goer and doer, most of the time that leaves him out. I have to find that happy medium to juggle this relationship. When I stop, think about it, I realize he's just needing my face time for a while. I will sit and watch a movie with him on the couch with NO other interruptions and that usually does it for HIM time and I can go again and do again without interruptions.


  4. Well bless your pea-pickin' little heart! I love that you used that! I've found that I've become very good at drowning others out; Noisy people in the office, a rambunctious not quite 6 yr old and a husband who at thinks that I'm just another Broker he can discuss stock options, day-trading and earnings reports with. Usually the work I do does not require much focus and attention, but in the case it does, I've found that it's a great (and rare) excuse to plug in my earbuds and turn on my Classical playlist on my Ipod and jam out the the good old works of Beethoven, Pachebel, Vivaldi etc. Not great advice, but I hope it helps.

  5. Sometimes just being in the same vicinity is enough! Like this......

    Its not the pale moon that excites me
    That thrills and delights me, oh no
    Its just the nearness of you

    It isnt your sweet conversation
    That brings this sensation, oh no
    Its just the nearness of you

    When youre in my arms and I feel you so close to me
    All my wildest dreams come true

    I need no soft lights to enchant me
    If youll only grant me the right
    To hold you ever so tight
    And to feel in the night the nearness of you

  6. Yes! I'll give it a try -- now that I actually have an ipod!

  7. As long as you don't lose this one :-)

  8. I agree with Ryan's suggestion about the iPod. I'm like you, Claire, in the way that I get very easily distracted by "shiny things" or even a pin drop. When typing emails out and Katie starts talking to me, I just "SHHT!" her and she knows to not utter another word or what she says becomes what I'm typing! I need to be careful with music in that same way. I like "Mushroom Jazz" (it's a music genre) and Ambient music because I can zone out to it and not worry about other distractions...though you may need to really crank those earphones up to "cancel out" the Dutchess and Lady sounds. Good luck and keep on writing! :)

  9. Mushroom Jazz, huh? I guess I live a sheltered life. Never heard of it! You'll have to enlighten me. I'm afraid nothing will cancel out the girls when they are on a roll! Thanks for the thumbs up! I plan to write, write, write!


Yes! I've been there, Claire!