Where Do You Write?
Perfect Day of Writing:
The house is quiet and my favorite Lily of the Valley candle is burning.
My computer desk is neat and organized.
My husband and kids are out doing something fun, and the phone doesn’t ring.
I have my favorite (magic) mechanical pencil and my notebook with ideas written down and ready to be turned into masterpieces.
My thoughts are focused, and clicking away on the keyboard is a steady sound of production.
Every now and then, I reread my handwritten notes, think about them and maybe add to them or delete what is not relevant while I visualize the situation I am writing about.
Every word comes naturally and then glides onto the computer screen.
Uh huh... Right...
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Reality Sets into My Perfect Writing Place
My husband and kids are home and each have something they must tell me or a question they must ask OR THEY WILL SURELY DIE.
My sister, God love her, calls just at the moment when a clear idea is making its way from my brain to my typing fingers, but then I lose it.
My two kids fight over some trivial matter and request my presence to referee.
I can block out most background noise such as a tv or radio but if a song I love starts playing, I usually have to stop to sing along (did I tell you I love to sing, too?).
Then, on the counter, and in the back of my teacher mind always, are the nagging papers that need to be graded or the stack of books I need to read/study for the classes I teach.
What Can We Truly Tolerate?
Because each of us is different, we each have an idea of what is perfect and what we can tolerate. Maybe we should come to realization that we need to find a high tolerance to what individual worlds are really like.
I finally gave up the idea of a "perfect writing setting." Perfection is difficult to attain when you have so many outside factors thrown into the batch.
Realizing this, I have resigned myself to the interference and noise that seem to come into play. As a matter of fact, I have learned to embrace them.
My Real Writing Setting
After this revelation of a non-existent, idealistic writing setting, I came to terms with what I am working with in the present.
I am the type of wife and mom who wants to know what is going on in her house, even when I write. Knowing this, I set up my writing setting to fit what I can handle, and it is far from the serene scenario mentioned above.
Giving into reality, I set my Netbook up right on the kitchen table: Family Central. I have my reading glasses, notebook and pencil, my iPhone with its Dictionary.com app, and I am set.
I put on my favorite music. The 70's and 80's tunes play on a low volume. Sometimes I do sing along with the songs, but sometimes the songs inspire me.
It doesn't have to be the 70's or 80's music to inspire me. When I am in a more spiritual mood, I have contemporary Christian music playing in the background, which lends to some introspective inspiration about family and life.
Or, I might just be in the mood to listen to instrumental music, such as Tim Janis, Mozart, and my favorite John Barry soundtrack from Somewhere in Time.
Other times when the family is about, I have learned to block out the noise coming from the television. If it is my husband, it is the news or the golf channel. The news can be depressing, but I focus and block it out. When the kids are tuning into their favorite comedy sitcoms, it is difficult not to hear something funny.
As far as interruptions, when the phone rings, I answer it. There are too many wonderful people to talk to, and they cannot be ignored.
This is my life, and I have made the choice to write, so it is up to me to roll with the punches. Everyone cannot stop what they are doing to accommodate me. I have learned it is much more peaceful to deal with my surroundings than to fight them.
If Life Were Perfect, Would We Be Happy?
Life is busy and full. Most of us cannot attain the perfect ideal situation for writing our masterpieces. We must keep on trying because beauty can come out of chaos. I am going to do what my mother always told me when things didn’t go my way, “Pick yourself up, wipe yourself off, and keep going.” And for that lesson, much creativity has been developed.
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© 2011 Susan Holland
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