Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Writing Amid Distractions


See that man outside my window? It’s hard to get a good look at him since ALL MY WINDOWS ARE COVERED WITH A TARP, but he’s there. My little friend who looks in at me every day. I’ve named him Stu. I’m either going to have to kill him or marry him, because he knows entirely too much about me.

So, yeah, I have a few distractions when I write. My building is nearly 100 years old, so the construction seems endless. The façade. The pipes. The elevator. Oh, Mrs. Cebula? The water will be out all day again, and yeah, they will be drilling just outside your bedroom window, so careful what you wear.

New York is famous for its noisy distractions. I love the city. But all the loud idiots, I can do without.

So far I’ve been dealing with it by moving from room to room, and complaining a lot. Emphasis on the latter. Sometimes I walk over to Central Park or my local coffee place, but recently the movie and TV shoots have infested the Upper East Side. Gossip Girl. Something called When in Rome. A TV ad. Although I will admit to standing up a little straighter when I walk by, just in case. Oh, me? An extra? Well, if you insist, Mr. Allen.

What about you? Do you have distractions when you write? How do you deal?

9 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

My distractions - ages 5 and 2 - have been running full force lately. The demands are high, and often, and the second I get comfortably perched in front of my manuscript, the requests begin. What irks me the most is the way they yell "MOMMY!", as if I'm either worlds away or the world is coming to an end, and nothing swipes me from the writing groove quite like that. My hubby, when not working, is (mostly) good to help deter their attention from me, but don't they always need mommy regardless?

I haven't figured out any foolproof methods of coping, but sometimes (if I'm lucky) they'll play with each other or get caught up in something and give me a few moments peace.

Wow. Perhaps I should have posted this as my own blog. So sorry to have taken so much comment space...

Oh! And I recommend neither marrying nor killing Stu. I don't think either option would look too good on your record. ;)

Angela said...

Wow--you painted such a clear picture of life in a big city--great job! My distractions are my two kiddos, my dog forever giving me these short litlle pathetic whines as she stares outside WHERE PUPPIES ARE, and my hubby who is a charished treasure, but also feels that from the nanosecond he gets home until he leaves for work in the morning that my time should be reserved for him, not YOUR WRITING AND CRITIQUING STUFF.

*sighs*

Still, I will persevere!!

And I vote you put Stu in a book and sic a horde of zombies on him. Killing people in books is expected and even encouraged. Real life tho....not so much.

nancy said...

Distractions while writing? Are you kidding? I've got two boys who are convinced their job in life is to bug Mom, a husband who somehow needs the approval and/or help of his wife every step he takes, and a dog who's taken up residence on my lap. Yeah, I'd say I've got a few distractions around here.

Mostly I've learned to tune them out. That being said, I will admit there have been times when I've exploded - unfortunately.

The whole distraction issue is one of the reasons I'm so excited about our upcoming journey (we'll be riding our bikes from Alaska to Argentina) - I'll be able to disappear into the desert after a hard day's cycling and just relax and write. What luxury!!

www.familyonbikes.org

colbymarshall said...

currently my distractions while writing involve the guy who lives above me who sounds like he's coming through my ceiling...I write about him on my blog from time to time (his tag is "the enemy" if you ever want to read about him). He's definitely on my mud list.

WendyCinNYC said...

Yes, neighbors and kids can be awfully distracting as well. My girls are in school all day (for the next few weeks at least) and my neighbors are just fine, so I guess I should count myself as blessed.

Marilyn said...

I have a 3 year old girl and an almost 17 month old boy. I don't get nearly as much writing done as I'd like (or need to - it keeps me sane). I look forward to Treehouse and naps - it's my time to myself and to write.

Laurie Ashton said...

Well, there are the neighborhood monkeys. We have four. They swing around on the power lines and make a huge ruckus. And there's the flock of bright green parrots. And the husband who natters away constantly. And there's the cooking and the cleaning. And making bread and stuff. And the monsoon rains...

Really, I don't know how I get anything done. :P Oh, wait...

Melanie Avila said...

My neighborhood is LOUD. Trucks honking to let you know the gas or garbage or water is here, men squeaking toys to let you know they're available for purchase, dogs and cats fighting, music blasting from at least three homes, the occasional gunshots, and the workmen who have been 'finishing' our building for the past year. I can't imagine if I had children, too!

WendyCinNYC said...

Monkeys and parrots and gunshots...oh my!