Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Back in the Saddle...with interruptions

After spending the month of November at a personal writing retreat in Seagrove Beach, Florida, it was difficult to return to “normal life” in Memphis… especially since I didn’t finish my novel, as I’d hope I would, in November.

So I had to put it on the back burner when I returned to Memphis and to an offer on our house… to packing and moving and unpacking and setting up housekeeping again… with a break for Christmas and New Year’s with family. We moved on January 16, so I gave myself two weeks to get unpacked, with plans to be “back in the saddle” writing the end of the novel by February 1.

That was a week ago. Today I finally got the manuscript out and did some reading, revision, and even wrote some new material. I had plans to write all day tomorrow and Friday, but now the people from Direct TV coming “between 12 and 4” tomorrow for repairs, and my landlord’s plumber/electrician is coming “sometime Friday morning” to finish working on leaks, lighting, and miscellaneous maintenance issues… almost a month overdue. I know from experience that these interruptions could take all day, or even into next week.

It was good to read this post by Nathan Bransford on getting back into writing after being away.

So how do I focus on the work knowing that I might be interrupted at any time? I know of young mothers and fathers who write while children are in the house and I wonder how they do that. Maybe I’ve got attention deficit disorder (pretty sure I do) or maybe I’m just spoiled by the time and space I do have. I love my new “room of my own” and today when my husband was home for lunch I put a note on the door that said, “WRITING: See you tonight.”

And yet he knocked to hand me the phone so I could set up a time for Direct TV to come tomorrow or the next day…. It’s not his fault. I also want these things to be taken care of. And I love my new office/studio. Virginia Woolf would approve.

But I sure do miss Seagrove Beach….


Stacy S. Jensen said...

I got offtrack for various reasons in recent years. I declared this my year I would finish and am working on it five pages a day, five days a week. This new routine has helped me this year. I'll think happy repair/serviceworker/satellite thoughts for you. I ove that "room of my own" too.

Susan Cushman said...

Thanks for reading and commenting, Stacy. It's good to hear that 5 pages a day is working for you... that's 100 pages a month... wow! The hard thing for me is that it takes so much time each day to GET BACK INTO THE STORY.. to think, to imagine, to research... all that takes more time than the actual writing. But I'm on it again!

Stacy S. Jensen said...

Me again. I'm doing a vomit draft per tips provided in The Memoir Project b Marion Roach Smith. Since I'm working on the Memoir-in-Progress, I already had an outline, book proposal, etc. Just no complete manuscript. So, I'm writing every day and not stopping to research a specific detail. I just make a note and will add those missing links during the revision phase. This is working through the writing process, I hope to keep the momentum. Also, at the end of my five pages, I write a note in the file where I want to go next. So the next day, I pick up where I left off. Sorry for another interruption.

Tina said...

I recently found your blog, and I am glad I did!

I have gone through long periods of time when I've stopped writing, and it is so hard to pick it up again. But I now feel like I must write, that it's time for me to commit and stay with it.

I write for a living (newspaper reporter) but I need to do more of my own writing. That's really what I want to do with my life.

Thanks for the inspiration, and I look forward to reading more. I love your room, by the way!