For Wednesday, February 3, 2016:
“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”
E. B. White
It has taken me years to get to the point where I can get more than a few words on paper – or computer screen – when I’m in the midst of distractions. I used to need complete and total silence in order to write anything more than notes to myself. Now I can write enough to get at least a kernel of the idea I want to convey, even if the TV is on, for instance.
I still do best in quiet surroundings, but that’s just not possible. It’s hard to ignore the two resident dogs and their needs, the noisy and busy neighbors (though they’re very nice!), and the television as often as I’d like. I can, and sometimes do, retreat to my room, but I still hear EVERYthing, given the acoustics of the house. And some days each little noise is magnified by weather conditions, like today’s wind and rain. These are the times that try my soul and make me long for Virginia Woolf’s room of my own.
But I learned – or started to learn – how to tune (some) things out better in the crucible of Alzheimer’s Disease when I was the primary caregiver for my dad. I even managed to write my MA thesis and the final draft of my first novel in those circumstances. I don’t like feeling distracted, but I figure if I accomplished those milestones then, I can write a few words in less than ideal conditions now. Those few words gradually begin to add up to something workable.
It’s still not easy … Oops, pardon the interruption. The little dog needed to be lifted onto the couch, and the bigger dog had to be reassured … but I try. There, they’re both settled again. Now for some more wor …