Write like this? We need to talk...
Okay, you’ve extracted yourself for half an hour from the chaos that has become life lately. Gold star. This is your time to write.
You’re ignoring the to-do list; no one is whining for your attention — colleagues or employees or children or fur babies. After several cups of coffee (that new place on the corner is great) you’re still a little wired but primed for all the ideas about to appear.
You know it’s important not to get distracted, so with a little grin you’ve just put your phone on airplane mode and thought, “That’s ‘writer mode’. Genius at work; do not disturb!”
Okay. Good start. It’s all about the preparation, eh?
Unlike some people, you don’t need to block the internet on your laptop when you write. (You secretly think it’s a bit sad others need an app to tell them where their time goes — as if you have enough for it to disappear without knowing where it went!)
You take a sip of water — gotta keep hydrated — and roll your shoulders backwards and forwards a few times. Urgh, you seriously need that massage. Reaching for your phone to add the reminder, you catch yourself and put it down.
Oooh, you almost succumbed. Good save.
“Let’s go old school.”
You scribble ‘Book massage’ on the edge of a piece of paper.
You put the phone face down.
Okay, logging in… Let’s do this.
Oh, there are several updates to be made to the software. One of which is to the operating system. You have been putting that one off for a while, and several of the other updates now list ‘critical’ next to them.
Hmmm, it makes sense to do them now because you’d hate to be madly typing the perfect sentence when the whole thing crashes and your ideas vanish and it’s infuriating when you’re just left staring at the whirling ‘beach ball of death’.
The updates require a restart.
That’s okay. The computer says it will only take 7 minutes. You joke to yourself: at least the computer didn’t say “No”.
Ah, Little Britain.
You could use a quick bathroom break anyway (all that water you’ve been drinking; there’s a price for that, isn’t there?).
Right. You’re back. Just as you sit down the chair suddenly leans at an awkward angle and there’s a clatter on the floor. You go to switch the overhead light on but remember the bulb blew last week. Replacing it is on the to-do list.
Not to worry.
On your hands and knees on the floor, squinting a little in the shadow of the chair, you’re feeling around — both hands like little hovercrafts — for the small screw you suspect has just become dislodged. You can’t sit on the chair at that angle, you’ll need to get the torch to find the screw.
The torch is in the laundry. The kitchen is on the way.
As you pass the fridge you remember that slice of cake is still there and you could just have a sliver...
You go to put your now-cakeless plate in the dishwasher but the dishwasher hasn’t been emptied yet. It’ll only take a minute. “No.” You catch yourself, realising that’s how people get nothing done. And that’s just not how you roll.
Out loud: “Focus. Find the torch.”
The torch is in the laundry cupboard, exactly where it should be, and you return, triumphant, to your desk. More specifically, to your chair, and shine the light underneath it.
“There it is!”
Sneaky little screw had rolled further away than you thought — no wonder you couldn’t find it. Just as you lean your head under the desk, an alarm sounds and you jump in fright, delivering your own blow to the back of your skull.
After letting out an expletive, you emerge from under the desk, onto your knees, rubbing the back of your head and grimacing. Your phone is vibrating on top of your ideas book and its shrieking is unrelenting. Picking it up you flip it over to see the timer has reverted to zero.
At that moment, the dog comes lumbering into the room, the phone starts ringing…and, why is there someone at the door at this hour?
Deflated, you rub your head while answering the phone and going to see who’s at the door. Your resolve is quiet in the once-again-noisy house.
Tomorrow. I’ll write again tomorrow.
And you will. As soon as you’ve fixed the chair.
Let’s focus that beautiful mind of yours
Join the community of dedicated aspiring authors and nonfiction fans receiving my notes from the studio each month: books you can’t put down and writing tips to help you finish your own.