Climbing out of the world… the tortured artist

As a writer, you have to move your mind-set between different worlds – constantly. This is all part of the creative process. One of the biggest things that I have difficulty with is when I’m interrupted in the middle of a thought by someone or something. This could be the telephone ringing, someone walking into the room, or a text message coming in.

When I am writing, as you probably know from a previous post, I control the noise around me by listening to music. If I am deep in another world, thinking about how to advance storylines, or scenes, I find these interruptions extremely difficult to deal with. Suddenly I am not in the creative world where I need to be, but I am kicking and screaming my way to the surface of reality because someone feels the need to engage with me.

Today, I look worse than this...

The fact that someone would have the audacity to step into a writer’s own personal mind-set and creative space, while they are trying to channel different ideas enrages me. Yes, right now, they probably don’t understand… but right now I am a little enraged and frustrated. You see, just this instant, my flatmate came home from work. I couldn’t hear her through the house because my music was up… she gave me the shock of a lifetime because she yelled across my library at me from the doorway, and then once my heart had started to settle, her friend walked into my personal space as well. They then had the cheek to ask me if I was busy.

Could they not see me bent over scattered pieces of paper trying to sort out my plotlines. Could they not see the pen behind my ear, with another in my hand? Could they not see my laptop blazing with literary life in front of me? But more importantly, did it look like I having a party in my library by myself with nothing else to do? No, I very much doubt that. What it looks like is a writer, with very messy unwashed hair, glasses perched crookedly on her nose, dressed in a ratty singlet and the comfiest pants she’s got, trying to get some work done. Now you know it’s not all glamorous.

So now that I have got this all off my chest, I am going to once again climb back down into my worlds, and pray that they don’t interrupt me again today. There is a lot of work to get through… that if I don’t get it done this afternoon and tonight, I’m not going to be able to look at it for another two days.

Thanks for hearing me out… Ciao xx

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20 Comments

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    1. Children, husbands, roomates… they are all the same thing to a writer in the zone: distractions 🙂 But the tortured artists that we are usually smile and nod, accepting that one day, we’ll be able to retreat back into our little worlds 🙂

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  1. I really love the pic! I definitely get that feeling, both the being exhausted and the loathing-being-interrupted. It’s usually my children which interrupt me. Perhaps that sounds terrible. Heh heh heh. I try to have times set aside when I just write. We homeschool and there are times when they have quiet independant work or playtime or some such. At that times, I need to get in the zone and just go. When they come up to me and it’s not an emergency or something otherwise serious….grrr. Ahhh, but I can’t growl at them since they’re children. My husband, when he interrupts, is another matter entirely!

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    1. Ah Sonia… Family are demanding. You can’t ever really take a break from them. I only have my husband around most of the time… But I imagine that once we do have children – there will be havoc wrecked in my writers space!

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  2. oh Leigh! You sound somuch like me! Well, except it’s kids and phone calls :)… so I’ve turned on my music and am tuning everything while i read. sprained my wrist so can’t type much tonight. Only problem is … I want to sing to the music LOL!! and then i start day dreaming!!

    LOL
    Love,
    Denise

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    1. Denise – don’t let your wrist effect your writer’s drive and ambition! Keep singing, and keep dreaming! Everything else will fall into place 🙂 Xoxo

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  3. I really love the pic! I definitely get that feeling, both the being exhausted and the loathing-being-interrupted. We homeschool and there are times when they have quiet independant work or playtime or some such. At that times, I need to get in the zone and just go. When they come up to me and it’s not an emergency or something otherwise serious….grrr. Ahhh, but I can’t growl at them since they’re …………………………..

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    1. Ah, I have to say that interruptions are unnecessary evils.
      Good on you guys for home-schooling your children! Just think of the wonderful accomplishments that you get to watch while your children learn and grow. I think that would be wonderful. As for your writing time, just remember how amazing that feels when you feel like you are getting somewhere – interruptions or not. And you never know what sort of foresight and inspiration can come from those interruptions as well, even though we all loathe them at the time. Just look at my inspiration in the weekend – writing a blog post about it! All the best. 

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        1. Quite true. You know, I really love writing on the train. Not that I have caught the train in a while, but I used to catch it to and from work every day. And I loved it. I would set myself up at the back of it… looking out the back window, so that when I wasn’t writing, I could watch the landscape recede away from me. The only problem I have ever had writing there (and there have been a couple of incidents) is when passengers sitting next to me start commenting on my work in progress. That’s just the way it goes though, isn’t it?!

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  4. LOL…..the common problem of the writer who writes at home…I totally understand your frustration, irritation and dare I say it Rage at the masses who dare come between you and your writing. There are many times when I think it would be worth my while to just rent a room that I can make into an office so that I am actually at work (in the minds of the non-writerly folk) and hence they cannot disturb me. I could say I was in a meeting with a couple of my clients (characters)…they might take the hint. Great post.

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    1. Ha! I would love to rent an ‘office’ space to write in. Unfortunately, I just don’t think that I would utilise it properly – as I would probably prefer to roll out of bed, pad throughout the house in my jammies, and then settle down to write. You see, if I had an office space, then I would actually have to get dressed to write 🙂

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  5. LMAO. I loved this posting. I also have had difficulty getting interrupted. It was so hard when my kids were little and I was writing for the local newspapers as a correspondent. They could never understand “why” they could NOT bother mommy when she was at the computer.

    Thankfully they’re all grown up now and I can control my work environment much better now.

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    1. It’s amazing the response I have had to this post. Every writer ‘gets’ it. I think that it is something that only a writer would really understand as well!
      In terms of controlling your work environment, I tried that during NaNoWriMo last year – and it worked really well. But I did have to tape notes to my door, with specific trimeframes where I couldn’t be disturbed. I’m not too sure my flatmate or husband would pay too much attention to that now though!

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