Wednesday, January 8, 2014

IWSG - Interruptions

IWSG—Writers, coming together on the first Wednesday of every month for a virtual pat on the back. 

Your mind is elsewhere. In another city, country, continent, planet. And the phone rings.

The sound jars you out of the scene and back to what a normal person describes as reality.

Or in other words, the sane world of living. Not writing.

It is a writer’s occupational hazard, those stumbles and stutters that we experience when battling a master swordsman, having a Eureka! moment during a pivotal scene, or ‘seeing’ the castle ruins for the first time.

I file these interruptions into two categories: Biggies and Aggravations. 

Biggies are new grandsons and major home renovations. Not much you can do about diapers and painting a wall.

Aggravations are meals, the spouse saying “come and help me a second”, unexpected guests who stay all day, and bad colds. The last one kicked my characters to the curb for the last ten days.

So how do you cope? How do you open the door back into your world? Or can you go back to the same place at all?

* * * *

Insecure Writers Support Group: The Final Frontier.

These are the voyages of the Ninja Captain, AJC. His continuing mission, to explore all new writing venues, to seek out new authors and new blogs. 

To boldly go where no blogateer has gone before.


  1. These are the voyages - funny!
    That's why I like to listen to music when I write. It helps me get back into mode when I am interrupted.

  2. Keep on keeping on, I guess. I can work with the smaller distractions easier than the big ones. And my goal this year--when I finish the book I'm writing under a tight deadline--will be to make sure I don't put my fictional peeps ahead of my RL ones.

  3. Biggies & Aggravations. Love the post. From one ISW to another, Happy 2014.

  4. I love this. I debate about turning my phone off while I'm writing and haven't really gone that far. But it is something I keep considering. Somehow I seem to do all right with interruptions for the most part and am able to get back to where I need to be. If I'm really focused and don't want to lose some scene or thought, I don't answer. I call back after I get it out of my head! Thanks for visiting my blog, for sharing these thoughts and happy new year!

  5. I've heard it from enough authors that the only way to reach those places in your mind is simply to "write every single day" not to believe it. Now, do I myself follow these words of wisdom? Historically, no. And my writing has suffered greatly for it.
    I myself am trying very hard to force myself to fall into line and make a designated time- even if just an hour- every single day to write. I think it will work. I'll let you know.

  6. Ug! I'm not coping. My little aggravations pop up inside my own head. It's like I've developed ADHD only when I want to write.

    Think I'll try the Captain's music advice...

  7. I had no response to your question, but I found the post entertaining.

  8. Recently I've been turning my email off so I don't see the little envelope when it pops up because if I do - I have to open it.

  9. Ugh! Interruptions! I only ask for an hour a day to myself to write - and is it easy to grab? No! When I've pictured a location I try to find a similar photo online to look back at when I've 'lost' the image. I try not to be resentful of interruptions as I don't want the family to start acting resentful about my writing - I need all the support I can get (which isn't that much, ha!)

  10. I'm often grateful for the distractions. Just sitting there and writing sounds great, but without some real life going on around it, there's nothing to put into the work. It just sort of... hollows out.

  11. My problem is getting lost in that mental fugue state and feeling disconnected. Getting back there isn't usually a problem.

  12. Great post, and I know exactly how you feel. It's so frustrating when the phone rings or the door opens and you're forced to come back to this world. I'm thinking about going on a solo writing retreat (even if it's to a hotel or B&B in the same town) just so I know I'll have a day or two of uninterrupted time for my book.

  13. I deal with distractions differently depending on how many have come my way, whether they're yet another or a one off, or if I'm stressed. I'd like to say I deal with them maturely and get back in my chair, but in reality I tend to get distracted for a bit, stew, and then I get back in slowly. Great IWSG post!

  14. I'm lucky I don't have any "Biggies," but the little ones are like gremlins. But I have to mostly blame myself. I just can't commit to anything. In my fight to go high concept or bust - I'm mostly bust.

  15. I think my mind is constantly in both planes - writing and real world. Even when I get distracted, it's pretty easy to get myself back in the writing zone. But, as others have said, music or reading a good book can help!

  16. I am incredibly distractable because of having Asperger Syndrome, and I'm afraid usually when a distracting event comes up--- like looking out the window while writing and noticing the sheep have escaped--- that spells the end of that writing session. The only way I cope with it is that I just adapt to writing in fits and starts.

  17. Oh. I can so relate to this post.

    I purposely wake up at 4:30 in the morning so I can have the house to myself. Any later my husband will trudge through and see me at the computer. Either he goes to make himself a noisy breakfast (why does he have to bang pans together) or thinks of something he wants to tell me.

    When I have to write when my family is about I wear earplugs.
    Leanne ( )


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