Now people are okay. Lovely, interesting, enticing, but when I want to write, I see everyone in my world and paint them with one big word--DISTRACTION. Because when a live person talks to me, I can't hear my characters. When a living being asks, "What were you planning for dinner?" My cast of characters sit down and shut up. That illusive word, the one just beyond my grasp, flits away.
I can write non-fiction in any circumstance. Because I worked at several newspapers where there were no cubicles, only "bull pens," I trained myself to block out those distractions.
But with fiction, it's so much more subtle. With non-fiction, you do your research or think through your premise, or construct your linear pattern, and then transpose that onto paper. With fiction, it's like being lost in the center of a giant labyrinth, and you have to choose a direction. Will you follow the lead of this character? Should you emphasize this plot twist? Can you expand on this interior monologue? Or do you need to trim that dialog and add a punchy cliff-hanger to the end of that scene?
|Frankly, the gazebo looked just fine to me before it got a new coat of paint!|
So when he went off to work, I breathed a sigh of relief. Finally! I could sink down into the world of my characters and know I wouldn't need to come out until I was ready.
But no sooner had David's footsteps faded than a crew of workmen arrived to paint the gazebo outside my office window. Bless their hearts, they talked and joked and banged around.
I seethed. I gnashed my teeth. In fact, I actually chipped a tooth in frustration!
I couldn't go on like this. I couldn't leave because I needed this particular computer configuration, and it's not portable. I couldn't ask them to leave because they were only doing their jobs! Then it came to me. I've tackled this problem before. So I clicked on the i-Tunes program and made a selection. For the rest of the afternoon, I switched off between Gregorian chants and "Learning Anytime," a mix of subliminal tones and music that aid concentration.
In fact, I found myself to be so productive while listening to my "noise blocking" tunes, that now I automatically turn them on when I start to write. I'm listening to them now!
How about you? How do you write through distractions? By the way, the Hemisync organization also makes a nice listening aid called, "Concentration." Have any of you ever tried subliminal aids like these?