Writing Through Distractions

As  a pregnant wife, mom, and dog-owner, sometimes finding the time to write is a daunting task. Add that to a cell phone that pings whenever it’s attached to one of my many social media accounts and a computer that is connected to the internet plus being an avid TV/movie fan, it’s a wonder that I ever get a chance to put word to page.

Before becoming a mom, I needed very specific conditions in which I could write and the list of those conditions was extensive. It needed to be quiet, dark, and accompanied by a delicious beverage (white chocolate chai latte in the cooler months and an ice-cold Coke in the summer). There should be no mess in the room I was working and a candle that smelled delicious would be appreciated. I must have eaten something in the last hour so that I wasn’t burdened by the need to eat. And that was just the beginning. I clung to every excuse I could muster not to write (which I’m sure many of my writer friends completely understand).

While I was pregnant, I imagined the year of maternity leave to be wonderfully absent of things to do and I would have all the time in the world to pen my great Canadian novel. Oh, how wrong I was. Now, I’m lucky if I get an hour a day that I can spend doing my own thing, though I can stretch that if I decide that showering and chores aren’t worth doing.

Now my writing time is whenever I can get it and with whatever conditions are there at the time. And do you know what the strange thing is? I have written more now than I ever have (school assignments aside). While I have no illusions about being able to participate in NaNoWriMo, I know that I can hammer out this novel I’m writing or those short story ideas in my head in no time. It seems that the excuses evaporate when you have a deadline.

My deadline is that floating question of “When will Monkey wake up from his nap?” which is usually expedited by the fact that he seems to be able to hear me typing from a mile away and needs to make that noise stop no matter what. Not knowing how much time I’m going to have today makes me use that time more efficiently so that I’m not stuck with half of an idea on the page when the first murmurs of “mum-um-um-um” come from the bedroom next to me. Which, of course, is happening right now.

So tell me, fellow writers, what excuses stop you from writing? And do you notice a difference in your writing when you have lots of time compared to limited moments?


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