Every day, I read interviews and posts by authors who talk about how they maintain a strict, disciplined schedule and write a fixed number of hours a day or a certain number of words per day. I’m in awe. Literally. Mostly because I write about a hundred words per day and consider myself productive. So, as I watch everybody churn out book after book, month after month, I tell myself this is the day I change.
I sat down with a mug of tea and my laptop. And waited for inspiration to strike. It didn’t. I stared at the blank page for a while and then typed a line. Then I deleted it. Wrote another line. Deleted that one too. Watched the blinking cursor for a bit. Picked up my kindle. Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh has released. One of my favourite authors in the whole world. I had to get her latest book in the Psy-Changeling universe. I just had to. I’ll just buy it. I can read later. Once I was done writing for a bit.
Ok, bought it. I put the kindle away and stared at my screen again. Wrote a couple of lines. Okay, these are halfway decent.
“Mamaaaaaaa.” The cry makes my fingers freeze on the keyboard. I ran to the other room to find her sobbing. “I got a boo-boo.”
“Where?” I asked, frowning down at the finger she’s holding up for inspection. The perfectly, unblemished finger, I might add. She points at what might be the tiniest scratch in the history of scratches. It’s barely visible to the naked eye. But, I knew my role in this little play and I do it well. I cooed and kissed and cuddled until the tears disappear. Once she’s happy again, I march back to my laptop.
This time, nothing was going to distract me. Ooooh Candy Crush. My finger hovered over the play button before I mentally smacked myself on the head. I put the phone down and typed another sentence.
The phone rang, loudly enough to have me jumping in my seat. It’s someone from the office with a complaint – somebody didn’t flush the toilet after using it. He doesn’t know who. Could I call for an all hands meeting the next morning and tick them off?
“You want me to call the entire office in to the conference room and tell them they have to flush the toilet after using it?” I asked, just so he could hear the ridiculousness of the request.
“Yes.” He said, firmly.
“No.” I shot back, equally firmly, before hanging up.
Back to the writing, my fingers hovered over the keyboard as I stare at my three sentences. The last one was awful. I deleted it and waited for my muse to make its presence felt. Where was it?
Ahh there was my muse. I ran with her to the toilet to avoid an accident. We spent a very enjoyable fifteen minutes reading books while she finished her business. We washed up and she headed back to her toys while I made a beeline for the laptop. I had the perfect third line in my head.
The phone rings again.
“Have you checked Insta?” A friend squeals.
“Do it now.” She hangs up without another word. Dutifully, I check Insta and like and comment on all relevant posts including the squealer’s. Then I head over to Facebook to do the same. I thought maybe Twitter would feel left out so I made my presence felt there too. I retweeted and hearted as many as I could before coming back to good old Word.
I typed another line.
“Mama. I’m hungry.” Z’s back. She just got done unloading so now she needs to tank up. Sighing, I served her dinner.
“Let’s chat, Mama.” She grinned, my little imp. “Please?”
My heart a gooey puddle in my chest, I grinned back. “What shall we chat about?”
“Umm.” She pretended to think about it. “Clothes and shoes.”
Perfect. It’s more than an hour later that I sat down with my laptop again. Z’s asleep, dinner is done. All was quiet around me. Too quiet.
Sighing, I stared at the document. I’d written 58 words today. A new record low. For everyone who asks me when I’ll be done with my next manuscript, my answer is sometime in the next five years. Until then, there’s always Candy Crush. I’m at level 2598. You?