Writing Can Be Murder

January 9, 2008

Get off of my cloud!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 12:48 pm

I’m thinking I should adopt that old Stones song as my personal anthem.

One of my resolutions this year is to protect my writing. I’m not talking about copyright, or locking my manuscripts in a fire-proof, uncrackable safe. I’m talking about protecting it from interruptions.

I recognize that some of these interruptions are of my own doing — I “need” to do research, send an email, check a message board, pour another cup of coffee, scrub the toilet, etc. I’m doing my best to be cognizant of these distractions, and work through them. I’ve been keeping a time log of what I do when. It’s helping.

A lot of the interruptions come from outside sources, usually in the form of the phone. It’s okay that people call. I don’t mind them leaving messages. What drives me nuts is when they:

A: Call repeatedly

B: Call my house phone and then my cell phone

C: Respond to an email with a phone call.

Because here’s the thing. I’m WORKING. I am not available just because YOU want to chat because it’s a convenient time for YOU.

How do you protect your writing time/space?

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1 Comment »

  1. Good post! I wish I knew the answer. Being a ‘work-at-home’ anything is an invitation for people to assume you have all the time in the world. I’ve told people who ask what I’m doing, “I’m working” and the response is often, “Oh, can’t you do that any time?”

    Well, yeah, technically I could do it at 3 AM but I don’t want to. I want to do it at 1 PM, so why can’t I?

    I’ve thought the trick is don’t answer anything, e-mails or phone calls, but then, as you said, people just keep trying, or they show up at your house, or get panicky. I can’t ignore my Mom if she calls, and DH has a key so I can’t pretend I’m not home.

    If I find a solution I’ll pass it around.

    Comment by bgardner — January 10, 2008 @ 2:06 pm


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