Posted in Stories

Eliminate them!

Day 8 of the ‘Post A Day 2011′ challenge:

How do you stay focused on a task or activity, like writing a blog post?

Candles, their little flames flickering in unseen currents, spread their golden glow around the room. A hint of music floats on the air, obscuring the gentle tick-tack of the clock. The muse has settled herself on my shoulder, tempting me, luring me. My fingers find the keys and start…

WHAM

Hi mam, I’m craving for a snack. I simply need to eat something tasty or I will faint on the spot!

My son’s blond head dives into the cupboard and hungry hands rummage through the contents. A triumphant exclamation confirms the discovery of something to his liking. And off he is again.

The muse decides to sit on my hair and play with my ear. Her whispering is faint but I can still hear her. Eyes slightly unfocused, my hands start moving again.

A staccato thumping thunders down the stairs. Son number two is on the move, in dire need of hot chocolate milk. We chat a bit and then he goes back to his game. Rest. Once again I try to gather my thoughts and gaze at the screen. Words well up and tiny black signs start adorning the virgin whiteness.

TRINGGG

Suddenly the phone comes alive and the person on the other end of the line is determined to hear my voice.

Ignore it Mar, simply ignore it and stay focussed!

Too late, the muse has hopped onto my desk and is crawling into a drawer. When I gently try to lift her out, she shakes her head and curls up. My little friend needs rest…

There are plenty of distractions in and around a house. My computer used to be in the living room, the heart of our house. A place to cook and eat, to talk and share stories about the day passed, to watch a movie together. A place for lots of activities, but apparently not for writing.

And since writing has become an integral part of my life, there was only one solution: ELIMINATE THE DISTRATIONS! Not by dealing with them or ignoring them time and again, but by leaving them behind. I was going to create a safe and silent writing haven where the muse and me could happily play. Upstairs there’s a little chamber- the old nursery – that over the years turned into a storage room for vague, intriguing and useless stuff. Six days I’ve been toiling to turn it into my writing den.

Whenever I need to focus on a writing project, I make a big pot of tea and head upstairs. The music, TV, my cell phone, my notebook, all remain downstairs. In my den there’s only warmth, quiet and lots of words.