Sunday, October 21, 2007

When Best Laid Plans Get Interrupted

There's a blog group called Writer Interrupted and I think I need to join it! Life totally got in my way last week and I got little done in the writing department. One interruption was planned and that was getting my carpet cleaned. Along with that came time to get as much off the floor as possible and then put everything back after the carpet cleaner left.

What I didn't ask for was not being able turn the water off after I finished my shower on Thursday. Then, to add to my frustration, it was stuck on hot. What's more, the faucet is a 40-plus-year-old Delta brand contraption that no handyman wanted to touch. Apparently older Delta faucets are a bear to repair. So I had no choice but to call in the professional -- the dreaded expensive plumber. $400 later, the faucet was fixed Friday afternoon. By the time the guy left, I had no brain power to put two words together.

That evening, my local ACFW chapter had a wonderful time with literary agent Chip MacGregor who talked to us for about three hours. He shared about his life as an agent and what it takes to get the job done as a writer. He left me with a couple impressions, one of which is to set a schedule for writing just like a job and stick to it. He told of a writer who actually would get up to the alarm every morning, shower and dress in a suit. He would then walk outside, return to the house and head for his spare bedroom which doubled as his office. There, he sat down and wrote for the morning. At noon he took a break for errands and lunch and then returned and wrote until late afternoon. He treated writing as the job it was.

Did that ever hit home with me. Since I retired from my day job almost two years ago I've struggled with finding a balance. I don't have trouble waking up early, but I am distracted by the Internet and email. It's easy for me to spend a good hour or more each morning just reading email along with different websites and blogs. Before I know it, I've done nothing more than read other peoples' words when I should be writing my own!

Then there's the other distractions of working at home. A table that needs dusting or a counter wiped. Or maybe a phone call from a friend. Not to mention the ping that alerts me to a new email. I realized after hearing Chip talk about this, that I've really slackened in my ability to stay focused on story and writing during the day. So, this weekend I set down a schedule. I'm going to start setting my alarm just like I used to do when I did commute to work. And I'm going to limit my time reading blogs and articles on the Internet. I'm determined by this week's end, I will have the made great advances on my story as well as searched out possible opportunities for articles to be queried.

Sounds like a plan. Now I need to pray another faucet doesn't break!


Winter Peck said...

I need to join you in this. Hubby goes back to work on Thur and I need to get my book 2 done if I want to have a chance to sell it with book 1.

I've found when I leave the house and work somewhere else, I actually get a lot done. Too many distractions at home.

The Koala Bear Writer said...

Hmmm, how true... something we all struggle with! So far for me "writing time" is falling into one free evening a week, when I'm home from work and hubby is away at a meeting, but I'm trying to make sure I stick to that schedule. And get something done in those few hours (other than emailing and blogging...). :) Good luck!