As I write this I am at my desk, sandwiched in the dining area, while two metres to my right builders are hammering and sawing away as they work on a room extension. Not exactly the best environment for me to be creating the sequel to Lost Reaper, Winged Reaper. I’m three quarters of the way through the first draft and continually getting distracted by anything and everything, not just the building project happening in my backyard.
I can console myself with the knowledge that the building project will not last forever, and that at the end of it not only will I have gained a new bedroom, but this will free up space for me to create my very own library/study that I can read and write in to my heart’s content. But even though the builders will eventually leave, many other distractions remain.
As a stay-at-home mum, with one child at school and another at kindergarten part of the week, the hours I have to write without interruption are few and far between. I try to set myself goals for each day, gluing myself to the desk until I’ve achieved my word count, but some days it is a struggle to even get near the computer. My family and friends all know I’ll be home so some days I have a stream of visitors popping in for a cuppa and a chat. Then there are the days the school or kindergarten rings and I have to race off to pick up a sick child. And don’t get me started on the phone calls. I mean, seriously, some days I swear the telemarketers have my picture up on the wall and are throwing darts at it, I get that many calls.
So I’ve learned to steal a few moments here and there. Doing the dishes, washing my hair, getting the washing in, these are great times to ponder a plot point or work out the kinks in a bit of dialogue. Driving in the car, radio off, once I’ve dropped the kids off or I am on my way to pick them up is another great moment to consider what happens next in my story. But more often than not, it’s after I’ve gone to bed that my muse starts to fill my head with ideas. I keep a notebook handy for late night flashes of inspiration and wake up the next day eager to get to the computer and turn those flashes into a story. I’ll be even more eager to get to work once I have a brand new study to hide away in.
So, what keeps you awake at night? Is it your muse or are you too tired from a day of multi-tasking to do anything but sleep and dream big?