Just recently I started writing a YA novel. Before that I was editing my last book for over a year. So maybe I was wrong because I haven’t actually written-written in a while.
Or perhaps I was only referring to being at home, because for some reason writing at home is different than writing at work. Despite the fact that I’m undoubtedly interrupted by a ringing telephone; the beep of incoming emails from Boss; the teachers popping their heads into my office asking when their copy machine will be fixed; the students asking for band aids, to use the phone, the whereabouts of the counselor, or any other question they can think of to get out of class; I leave work, most days, with my daily quota completed. Of course, it’s likely I’m just writing crap and that’s why it took me so long to edit my last book. (Hm. Definitely something to think about there.) But either way I was wrong when I said that I needed quiet to write. (See previous post: My Soundtrack) Finding quiet in a high school secretary’s office is like finding your contact on the floor of your car after you rubbed it out because you were too tired to remember you had them in.
The case is different when I’m at home. I’ve tried writing on the couch next to Husband while he’s watching sports, Bubbles is playing with her latest technology on the floor, and Dog is curled up at my side. But every little noise drives me nuts until I’m ready to snap. Bubbles is tapping on the screen, Dog is trying to lick my hand while I’m typing, and Husband is switching channels during a commercial. Then Bubbles is yelling at the screen because it didn’t do what she wanted it to do, Husband is banging pots in the kitchen, and Dog is licking my computer because I yelled at him to stop licking my hand. That’s when I grumble and go downstairs to my writing room where it’s… sigh… absolutely quiet.
Or maybe I was wrong because after thirty some years, I still don’t really know myself. Last week I had a touch of writer’s block. I knew where I wanted to go with the story. In some spots I knew what I wanted to say, but the words were stuck inside my brain. I had to lasso each word in my mind and pull as hard as I could to get them out. About mid-week I reached for my iPod. (Ella swears by the use of her book’s playlist when she’s stuck.) Crazily enough, it worked. I still had to rope some of the particularly nasty, stubborn words, but most of them came willingly. The music had swung my creative door wide open.
Thankfully this week seems to be writer’s block free. At least so far. But I know what to reach for when I’m stuck again. I’m a total believer in My Soundtrack now.