Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pssst....I'm writing.

By R.J. Harlick

At this time of year many of us are getting ready to welcome houseguests. How do you manage working at home when friends and family come to stay?

I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date….Yup, I blew it, again. I forgot to write my blog, so here I am rushing at the last moment. Too caught up in the finishing touches of Purple Palette for Murder due tomorrow at my publishers and too caught up in the big celebration. My home team, Ottawa Red Blacks WON the Grey Cup, the first win in 40 years for an Ottawa football team. YAHOO!! I’m heading off to the big celebration parade later this morning. So I’ll have to have my blog done by then.

And using this blog as an excuse I have just said good bye to my husband with our two dogs as they set out for their morning walk on a skating rink. Yup, a skating rink. Freezing rain has left the sidewalk slippery slick. Near impossible to stand up without your feet flying out from under you. Hope they make it back without too many bruises.

Take a few deep breaths. In, out, in, out…..

Okay, here goes. Onto answering this week's question.

I agree with Terry’s take yesterday. There, that was easy. But I do. For some reason family and friends think, just because you are comfortably sitting in a chair plunking away at a computer or staring out the window that you’re not doing anything.  And for some, I suppose writing could be considered not doing anything. So they don’t hesitate to interrupt, to bug you about something inconsequential that could have been asked later and in so doing, totally interrupt your train of thought.

Writing fiction is like reading fiction. You become so totally immersed in the world you’re creating that when someone interrupts you it’s like crawling out of a deep hole into the daylight. Except you don’t want to be in the daylight. You want to be in that magical world you’re creating. And like crawling back down a deep hole, the return isn’t quick. When your conversation is finished, it takes time to find your way back into your magical world to resume your writing. Most people sort of understand plunking away at a keyboard and will sometimes respect it. It’s the staring out the window, that they don’t get. But often that’s when I’m sorting out what Meg should be doing next.

Over time, I’ve managed to train family members to respect my writing time and have delegated time with friends for when I’m not writing. I more or less have set up a writing schedule, which I mostly follow and spend my time with friends outside these hours.

As for visitors staying with me. I give up. I don’t even attempt to write when family or friends are staying. Besides I want to see them, want to chat and catch up with the latest happenings in their lives and enjoy their company.  I view these occasions as a nice break, a holiday from my writing.

There, that was easy. Hope you didn’t mind this free flowing, where ever it takes you blog.

Good, the walkers are back. No falls or mishaps.

Enjoy your day.


Nikkie May said...

Great post for last minute! (Great game too 😀)

RJ Harlick said...

Thanks, Nancy. T'was a heart stopping game that I couldn't watch...But hey, WE WON WE WON!!!

Unknown said...

Hi RJ. I completely enjoyed your free flowing talk, and glad you won, and glad the walkers are back okay. My deadline is tomorrow too! I sent it off an hour ago, and the decompression is almost life-threatening. Let's share a post-send celebration toast :)

RJ Harlick said...

Hi RM. I wish I could celebrate with you, but I'm afraid I'm going to be late. So you enjoy your celebration toast and I'll catch up to you when I finally send it off....

Pamela Beason said...

I have often experienced the "she's not really working" attitudes of my visitors and family members. I used to have to hang a sign on my office door to keep my husband out while I was writing. Unfortunately, nothing short of a locked door keeps my cats from typing on my keyboard. My deadlines are self-imposed, but I am trying to finish four books by the end of 2017, which seems like a superhuman goal right now, although I'm pretty far along in two of those and have begun the other two. The crappy winter weather helps keep me in my chair.