Don’t distract me. I’m writing!

I was writing a snow scene once for a story that I was working on. Easy, I know a lot about snow. I have experienced it. Worked in blizzards and waded through snow drifts up passed my knees. The sensory aspects of winter, crisp and clear, cold in the nose and easing its way through the layers of clothes and always finding the thin spot.

Why was it so hard to write that scene? Because at the time I was in Northern Queensland in Australia, in the middle of summer. The temperature was up around mid 90º, which wasn’t actually the worst part, which was the humidity, at about 70% it made breathing hard work.

My mouse pad which was destroyed in about a month by being in a continual state of dampness, the sweat dribbling down my arm onto the edge. The mouse, with the old style track ball inside, needed cleaning every couple of days as it picked up the detritus from the mouse pad then stopped working until the fluffy crud had been extracted.

I persevered, pulling the idea of snow and cold from my memories and got the scene written. I was happy with what I wrote but it was probably not the way it would have been had it been -4º outside with snow flurries beating on the window.

No matter how much you want to write there will always be distractions.

My wife’s overly cute cat loves jumping onto the desk, wrap his front paws around my mouse arm and falling asleep. And I don’t have the heart to shift him. I am stuck there, still trying to write, while he snoozes; until he wakes and wanders off to some other cat adventure leaving me to get the circulation back into my arm.

I cannot lock myself away to stop being interrupted which, anyone with a cat will tell you, doesn’t work anyway. I have to work through and do the best I can. Which is all any of us can do.

There is always something to distract us from what we want to do. If you fight it you get disappointed or angry. If you insist of complete solitude then ten minutes in that will be the day the toilet backs up.

If life has taught me anything it is to roll with the punches. There is no point in getting stressed about things. It is much better to deal with them and move on.

I write because I enjoy it, and I am sure most people are the same. I don’t want it to become a chore, something that I have to do and get stressed when I can’t.

Most of the pressures we put on ourselves are artificial. So take the distractions as a normal part of life, deal with them, embrace them or ignore them and be happier for it. It took me a long time to learn that lesson.

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