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Friday, 24 July 2009

How To Write While The Cat Scratches

Sit down and get on with it. Don't be distracted by the ironing, the post, emails, scratching cats, passing cars, dripping taps or dusty ornaments. All of it must wait until you have done something with your latest story. Actually, it is very stressful to ignore the post, but if you can steel yourself to do it, you do actually forget all about it. Then you have a nice surprise when you finally stand up and wander to the hall and see it lying on the floor.

I mean it. Don't be distracted. Not by anything. Tell yourself that all the other things can wait. Set time aside to do them when you finish. Then you won't let them nag at you.

If you know you can write non-stop for three hours, then do the other things in three hours' time. If you like to write for twenty minutes and need a break, then you can fit other tasks in at that point. But do your twenty minutes, without distractions seeping in, first! The writing time is yours to choose. Don't feel you have to do the same as anyone else.

Writing is what you love, after all. How hard can it be to stick with it? Just find your time limitation and use it. Then enjoy the other things until it's time to return to your writing. And return with a smile, not a grimace. Look forward to the immense satisfaction you are going to feel at the end of your writing day.

Otherwise, don't bother. Just do the chores instead and shout at the cat for scratching. The day will be emptier, less colourful without your words, but if that's what you prefer, then it's up to you.

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