Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Writing Through Distractions

I'm the type of person who has to have absolute silence before I can work on my book. The kids have to be tucked in bed, the husband has to be entrenched in front of the T.V. or sound asleep, and no noise can be present. No, not even music. That would be too distracting.

But I'm slowly getting over it. I have three kids. Three kids who actually make noise. Three kids who fight constantly. (Yes, even the baby gets in there with them. She has learned rather quickly how to defend herself.) Three kids and a husband who demand to be fed every night.

If I wait until every single one of them goes to bed, I usually have about two, maybe three hours to myself. But I'm greedy. That's not enough time. I mean, I have to blog! I have to read other blogs. I have chapters to critique. And I have my own book to work on. Two or three hours is just not enough time.

So I have learned to steal time during the day when (gasp!) the kids are awake. You may think No way, that's impossible! But it's not. I actually did it yesterday. Inspiration struck early and I had to write. In between being a referee, homework coach, and chef, I managed to turn out about a thousand words. And I cranked out another thousand last night when everyone was in bed.

Will I be able to do this amazing feat again? I don't know, but I'll try. I've never even attempted to write with them around, but I want to get the first draft finished. At the rate I'm going just working late at night, it'll be well into 2010 until that happens. So no more complaining from me about not having enough writing time! From now on, I'll be stealing bits of time at all hours of the day to get my writing done.

My question: When do you write? Early morning, late at night, or whenever you can? Do you have a set schedule, or do you write whenever you feel like it?


  1. I write early in the morning, late at night and whenever I can. I can't wait until whenever I feel like it because I'll let the stress of the kids, the husband, the housework pile up and use those as excuses. I tried the set schedule and it never worked because well, I have three kids and a husband....

    :-) Keep it up, it will get easier to write through those distractions. You'll find ways to distract THEM (kiddos) and things will run smoother. Everyday? NO! But more often for sure. :)

  2. Oh, I rarely write in silence--only during naptime do I get silence. My kiddo goes to bed late (unfortunately) so there isn't much time after that at night. So I write during the day whenever I can. There's music on or barney or I'm playing ball with my two year old in between. I just work it in.

    I used to study with the tv and music blaring when I was in school, so I guess I got used to blocking things out when I needed to focus. If I had to wait for quiet, alone time, I'd never get anything done, lol.

    Good luck on learning to work through the distractions! Three kids is a whole other ballgame. :)

  3. I write whenever I can. I live with seven crazy and hormonal girls on a campus of crazy and hormonal teenagers. Silence is not a choice!

  4. I, too, write whenever I can. Sometimes, I can't. I wait for the characters to speak, then make time to take it down while it's happening...unless I'm at work.

  5. My best stuff happens at night. Sometimes this sucks because I am so tired after my day, but who am I to squash the creative juices?

    And sometimes I work well at work with all the crazy people running in and out of my office all day long.
    I'll take what I can get.
    Good luck finding your quiet time! And good luck using the loud time to your advantage, too. :)

  6. I definitely don't write in the morning. I have no energy or brain function before nine a.m.

    I kind of have to write when I can... during down time at work (shh! Don't tell my boss.) and at lunch... and at night, when I can focus.

    But, I get totally distracted by television, especially during basketball season.

  7. I write after the kids go to bed. I just can't get into my story with any distractions around me. I know this is a problem I'm going to have to deal with or I will never get my WIP finished.
    I'm in awe of anyone that can write while life happens around them.

  8. I need total silence too! I prefer to write in the morning or early afternoon. I can write at night if I have too but I'm usually too exhausted. But then, I don't have kids.

  9. I need silence too! Well, sometimes I put on some music to get the inspiration for a scene going, but once the words start, I need quiet.

    I used to get a lot of writing done at work, oddly enough. My job was pretty much mindless, physical work that allowed my mind to wander. Now that I'm at home on sick leave with unlimited time for writing, I'm actually getting less done. Pathetic, I know. My body has become lazy and so my brain followed suit. I think I'm afraid to really get started because I kind of get obsessive. I know that once I really get into my writing again, I will hole up in our apartment and refuse to come out until I've finished. Hmmmm. Maybe that's a good thing right now :)

  10. I write whenever I can. Sometimes, that doesn't happen in a day at all.

    But my writing habits are weird and require very specific circumstances.

    Good luck with the draft!

  11. I am like you I squeeze it in. I teach classes almost every morning around 9:00 and my two oldest get on the bus at 6:50 so I have time as soon as they walk out the door.

    Then I will work till noon or 1:00 and go back to coach around 3:30 or 4:00 until 7:00 and I steel a few hours in the afternoon. Then write again at night. I can work work with noise or the TV. If I'm alone I keep things quiet.

  12. I have a kids basketbal hoop right beside my desk and get the occassional ball to the face while I write, thank heavens it's a soft one.

    I do find I work best late at night, not so good for going to my paying job the next day.

  13. I need to have music on when I write, but I need isolation too. I usually write best in the evenings before bed. I hope you find some time for yourself with all of your hard work being a wife and mommy :)

  14. I'm a late night writer myself. But I've surprised myself by writing a lot during the days recently too.

    I definitely listen to music (I have playlists started and growing based on what type of scene I'm writing) and I always light a yummy smelling candle.

  15. Now, I can write anytime I want. When my kids were small, I included them in my writing time. When it was writing time, we each had our own supplies and we worked quietly. I always started and ended by reading to them, but in-between, it was quiet. When we first started having writing time, there wasn't much quiet in the time, but it grew.
    As my children grew, they learned to appreciate that time as being creative and important for all of us. Now, we are all creative people.

    Could I please ask a favor? One of our own needs our support. (not me) Please go here:
    Yaya Stuff

    ~ Just Joany
    Red Wagon Flights

  16. Oh I have three kids who fight constantly too!! My two year old has this screeching thing he does... anyway, I sympathize, and I've learned to (sometimes) write above the noise too!