One of the most disturbing challenges a writer faces is interruption; even a burgeoning one like me. There were three topics I was inspired to write about today, yet all of them fell to the wayside when I answered a telephone call. Upon spotting the number on my phone, I could easily have let it descend into the hellhole of voicemail. However, my parents didn’t bring me up that way. At that moment, I realized my intense thoughts would have to be put on the back burner, searing in the recesses of my mind, until I accepted my position as a loving, caring family member and answered the ring.
There is a funny thing about being disrupted though. You never know what to expect. Granted, many times the talk is frivolous and painfully time-consuming but sometimes, when you least expect it, you can actually learn something.
As the youngest of a large family, I am used to and expect interruptions. I cannot gauge which ones will be morbidly agonizing at the time or quality of context or those which will illuminate me. Often I expect calls from one of my siblings to be an ordinary, friendly conversation. When another calls, who is often more remote, I fear the call bears bad news. Nevertheless, in the midst of writing, any call can be an agonizing distraction.
What do you do when a friend calls when they “should know better” than to distract me during specific hours of the day. I’ve been a salesperson and know that all calls are important. Are writers so self-absorbed that they should eliminate all contact when they are in “their element”? Maybe so, but how could anyone expect others to live their lives that way?
I don’t have an answer. I’m still testing the waters in the realm of writing. Most of my deepest, most dynamic thoughts come from when I’m alone, even if it’s only for a few minutes before I get a chance to record them. I’m trying to find a balance between doing what I’m expected to do as a woman, wife and mother and writing and to be honest, it isn’t easy. So many others I’ve read about have had similar difficulties but they seem to excel. I’m latching onto their coattails for confidence and know somewhere, there is a reason to continue writing.