Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Writing from home - and surprise interruptions

I work full time, and write in my spare time. This generally equates to maybe 5-6 hours over the weekend, depending on where I am and how much time I can spend locked up with my computer. Thankfully, my fiance likes reading in coffee shops, so we generally manage a few hours there over the weekend.

But I've recently finished one job and am on three weeks leave until I start another. Bliss! I'm on day five of not being at work, and day three of having my fiance go off to work and leave me to my own devices. Yesterday, I wrote 13,000 words of my new book in one day. That's a record for me, and I'm feeling rather proud of myself right about now. I've worked out a fairly effective system, which consists of spending the first hour or two after he's left propped up in bed, 'under the duvet', Marian Keyes-style, I suppose. When either my rumbling stomach or my greasy hair forces me out, I shower and head downstairs to my couch, where I've set up a rather nice nest of cushions to prop up my neck. There I stay until my stomach demands lunch (I am somewhat directed by my hunger pains), which I eat while trying to do something other than writing - such as watching TV or reading. After lunch, it's time for my grand venture outside. This generally consists of a fifteen minute walk into town and a couple of hours typing while sipping a soya latte in one of the various coffee shops around the place. Around five-ish, I head home, do a few more hours then cook some food up for dinner. Yes, those hunger pangs again.

The thing is, today my schedule has been knocked off a little by various interruptions. In my duvet period, I was surprised to hear the doorbell ring. Smoothing my bed hair and chucking on a dressing gown over my extremely dorky pyjamas, I discovered the water meter man standing outside. Together we emptied out the cupboard under my sink to find my meter (I only moved in about six months ago so had never even thought about its existence before), and then I spent a good ten minutes after he left putting it back in order. My reverie interrupted, I headed for a shower. After the shower, I picked up my laptop and was heading downstairs when my smoke detector wailed into life. It doesn't like steam, you see, and I'd left the bathroom door open. Cue me jumping up and down, desperately trying to hit the off switch. Which lasted approximately two seconds before it decided that it really did detect smoke this time. I eventually found a long stick and used that to turn it off approximately 47 times before it finally stopped. Right. Then I headed downstairs, put the laptop on my lap and started writing, pleased to see on one of my obsessive word count checks that I had already done 5,000 words this morning. Perhaps 13,000 isn't my record, I told myself, hopefully. I was in the middle of writing a sweet scene, where two of my favourite characters first get together, and I was quite enjoying the ambience when my bell rang again. Two lovely old ladies were outside, hoping to interest me in their church magazine. Not really my thing, but they weren't pushy so I wished them a nice day and didn't mention anything about the interruption. That was my good deed for the day. Returning to my scene, taking a deep breath and starting to type, I realised I'd lost it. So here I am, writing my blog about being interrupted instead of writing my book.

I'd better try to get back to it. No doubt the cat's going to spontaneously combust any second and I want to get another few thousand words written first.

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