Even if you donâ€™t write, youâ€™ve probably noticed there are a lot of essays out there about how hard it is to just make yourself write. Fortunately, I generally find that Iâ€™d rather be creating than doing anything else, and Iâ€™m really good about clearing every other possible thing off my calendar to make that happen. I believe that talents and inspiration are divine responsibilities, and Iâ€™ve been known to be â€œtoo responsible.â€
But that didnâ€™t mean that writing Peace Fire was an easy sprint from start to finish line, an unbroken journey. Oh, no. There were bumps in that road, unnecessary detours, slowdowns. Most of which are just ridiculous, which is why Iâ€™ve compensated with a dramatic post title. Iâ€™m going to share three of them.
Most those articles about writing will talk about clearing away distractions and, at least the modern ones, will include resisting the allure of your phone or social media. Yeah, Iâ€™m reclusive and have no problem ignoring most people. Though one of you, and you know who you are, is so irresistible that I did lose some time to you. Ugh. Youâ€™re lucky youâ€™re awesome.
I am also able to resist the call of the wild. Itâ€™s not just that Iâ€™m an indoorsy girl, because I really do think nature is full of beauty. Itâ€™s more that this flatâ€™s windows are all on one side, and that side looks out on a concrete courtyard and faces the other tower of this building. I am pretty sure that one or two stray leaves or the neighboursâ€™ toddler donâ€™t count as nature. No, no matter what a wild beast the child might sound like some days…
My top distraction was another beast. Yes, the cat. The thing is my big, surly boy is not generally cuddly. Weâ€™re into bodily autonomy in this household, and that means that, even if he werenâ€™t a mass of teeth and claws, I wouldnâ€™t be into forcing pets and cuddles on him. He is also a master of inconvenient timing. So itâ€™s no surprise that, almost any day that I had a hard time getting into the writing flow, he could sense when I was finally hitting my stride. That was his clue to â€œneedâ€ to be on my lap and get love. And heâ€™s a big boy, so I couldnâ€™t easily work around his formidable fluff. I absolutely cannot keep up a 1000 word an hour pace when pecking things out with just one hand. I told you my hurdles were ridiculous.
The fluffy offender
Ridiculous hurdle the second: Music! Okay, youâ€™ll hear me say loads of other times and places that music is important and part of my process and so forth. But thereâ€™s another side to this magical music thing. You see there are songs I totally canâ€™t resist singing along to or even having spontaneous dance parties to. They have such power over me that I will, for instance, have both feet out the door as Iâ€™m leaving a club but dash back in if one of them comes on because I. Must. Dance. Seriously. And if Iâ€™m home? Even if I can keep my butt in the seat and keep typing, Iâ€™m slowed down. Singing along and chair dancing impede typing.
The problem started early
Finally, food. Oh, food…How I love thee! And if I havenâ€™t spent quality time with you recently enough, it is hard for me to think about other things. Like the story Iâ€™m writing. Okay, so, get up, go to the kitchen, and…and then stare at the options…If Iâ€™m lucky, my body and brain will agree that, this time, cereal is a great idea. If it doesnâ€™t, Iâ€™m about helpless to spend the time necessary to make whatever it is that body and brain want. Some days, I felt like all I did was make and eat food. I love you, food, but you are sooooo needy sometimes. Ugh.
Ugh. Food. And music. I’m tortured.
Those are the things that tripped me up, slowed me down, kept me from writing a book in…Iâ€™m estimating I could have done it in 5 minutes if not for cats, music, and food. Yeah, that sounds like a legitimate estimate.
Now, back to writing, lest I have to add â€œbloggingâ€ to my list next time Iâ€™m counting my ridiculous distractions.
Peace Fire is out 11 October!
Pre-order your Kindle edition here.
Sale price until 10 October