The Writing Life: Girl, Interrupted

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crazy writerAny writer or artist knows that when a spurt of creativity hits, the last thing you want is to be interrupted. But life happens. Especially life with kids. And most especially life with four preteen and teen daughters. Oh, the drama. Oh, the angst. Oh, the “Moooo-oooooom!!!!!”

And of course, this “life” always seems to happen right smack-dab in the middle of one of my highly-coveted creative spurts.  I’ll have prepped the children, “Girls – I need twenty minutes. Twenty alone minutes to get this down. If you let me finish, I promise to make chocolate cookies and peanut butter balls and let you watch 3 episodes of MerlinWhat do you say?”  And they always say, “Yes, of course, Mom. Please – take twenty minutes. We’ll be fine. Silent as church mice.”  I then scurry down to The Hole and begin whatever creative task I’ve been trying to get to all day.

(Aside: My office is named The Hole because it is a hole. It is a spot in the basement that was supposed to be a storage closet. When I needed a dedicated work space, we turned it into my “office.” But I don’t sugarcoat things – it’s a hole, in the ground, under my house. Lovely.)

After I am hit with creativity and have bribed the children I scurry down to The Hole and begin to work madly, trying to use every second because I know – inevitably – it will not last.  This is precisely what happened last night.

girl interruptedI didn’t handle it well. Let’s just say that the end result was not me finding the opportunity to practice the art of Zen and demonstrate calm under pressure.

No. It was me telling my children in a rather scary tone that they all needed to go to their rooms and sit. In silence. Forever.

I don’t always become the crazy, quiet-voice-that-is-more-dangerous-than-the-loud-voice mom … but I’d had a day. And this was the proverbial straw.

Here’s a glimpse of how it went down:

Me: (Scurrying into The Hole) Ahh. Quiet. Let me slip on my headphones and start typing for NaNoWriMo. (I may not have actually said this out loud, but I’m exercising my creative license for the sake of effect.)

… One minute passes … Sounds of massive crash and yelling above.  Thump thump thump … I ignore the sound of footsteps on the stairs.

DD3 (“dear daughter”): Mooooo-ooom!!! SHE (referring to DD4) is so annoying! MOM! She took out the sugar. And she POURED IT IN THE SINK. Moooo-oooom!!!! Like, a whole bag of sugar.

DD4 (in the distance): It was an accident!

Me (yelling to DD4): How on earth can an entire bag of sugar in the sink be an accident? Why was the sugar out? What was that crash — NEVERMIND! Clean it up and I’ll be up in (consults time on computer) 15 minutes to make sure.

… DD3 huffs and puffs away mumbling under her breath … I put my headphones back on and start typing away.

… One minute passes … More screaming, more yelling and hollering. The phone rings … I ignore it.

DD2: Mooooooo-ooom!!! Dad’s on the phone!

Me: (To myself) Of course he is.  (To DD2) What does he want?

DD2: He’s on his way home!

Me: (To myself) So? (To DD2) Okay! Tell him I’ll talk to him soon then. I’m writing!

... Resume typing … Two minutes pass … Screaming and hollering resume … Thump thump thump … someone is on the stairs but I turn up the volume on Pandora and try to ignore it until I feel a tapping on my shoulder … I jump.

Me: What?! What on earth? What is it?

DD1: Mom. Did you know that The Littlest Pest (nickname for DD4) poured SUGAR all over the floor? It’s like, a total mess. It’s like, so slippery that I seriously almost just fell and KILLED myself. Mom! She is AWFUL!! I’m seriously going to die if I have to look at her ever again!

Me: Did you say the sugar is on the floor? I thought she poured it in the sink.

DD1: Moo-oom! She did but of course she sp-illed it on the floor, too. OMG like hashtag-I-Hate-Little-Sisters.

Me (consulting clock): Okay, well, can you clean that up for me?

DD1: WHAT?! That is so not fair! Mooo-oom!!!  (insert typical teenager eye roll and arm crossing)

Me: I’ll pay you five bucks.

DD1: Fine. But I need that cash tonight. Hashtag Moms-are-so-mean. (stomps away and commences yelling at DD4)

… I slip on headphones and face the screen, determined to type but forgetting what I had been writing … I just start typing when – 

DD3: Mooo-oooom!!!!!! (Thump thump thump – scream – holler – scream – thump thump – she enters The Hole) MOM! That little PEST, I can’t – I just – I’m so – ARGH!!!!!

Me: (slowly taking off headphones and sighing) What? What happened now?

DD3: She (referring to DD4), she, do you know what she did?!

Me: Uh, does it involve sugar?

DD3: Ugh! Mom! No! I was making tea because my throat hurt and I don’t really know why b-

Me: Probably from screaming at your sister.

DD3: Whatever. Anyway I was making tea and the water dripped the counter so I picked up the sponge to wipe it up and DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED?

Me: (Cringing) No, but it sounds like your throat recovered.

DD3: Mom! Seriously! I picked up the sponge and IT WAS FULL OF SOAP. I mean full. Then I looked in the sink. And SHE had dumped the entire bottle of dish soap IN THE SINK and the sponge was FULL!

… I sigh. I push away from the computer and trudge upstairs …

only to slip on the sugar that is still on the floor …

And that was when I went all Girl, Interrupted. And in the middle of my crazy-eyes talk, my husband walked in, promptly turned around, and went back out.

I can’t blame him.

Needless to say — not a whole lot of writing accomplished yesterday. And THAT is the story of my writing life for the week. Thanks for letting me vent.

Is your writing life ever interrupted? What or who disrupts your creative time? And have you ever gone a little mad because of it? I’ve love to know I’m not alone! 


13 Comments Add yours

  1. DMGbyrnes says:

    First, may I offer a hug in sympathy for your frustration? Wow, what an evening it sounds like you had. I can hear and see it all. I know those “quieter when scary” voices all too well, because it’s what I utilize to get my serious points across…anything else and I get that “you’re so cute when you’re mad”, the draw backs of being petite and angry at the same time, apparently.
    At this point in my life, I live alone, so my interruptions are mostly of my own complicated design, inevitably making it all the more frustrating when I have no writing to show for the day. They do still happen, but at this point, I have more issues with not being able to write once if I’ve been seriously upset during the day such as arguing with doctors, or from being in pain, which is a distraction of a very different sort.
    I certainly don’t know how you do so much! You have a lot on your plate, and I tip my hat to you and say, GO KAT!!! I hope you get a chance for some nice creative writing time (without interruptions) soon! Happy writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kat says:

      Thank you!!! Yes, it is a crazy life. Sigh. And I can only imagine how hard it is to ignore pain and try to write. I broke my leg and foot two years ago and sometimes (like this week with the rain) the pain comes roaring back. Head pain — so much worse.

      Thanks for the understanding words and the words of encouragement! I NEED THEM (as you can plainly see from my post, lol). =D


  2. James Stack says:

    This was so well written I could actually visualize each child, and you, and your husband.

    Yes, my dog constantly interrupts me – he is now as I write this comment. It’s been worse this week since his injury, which he tries to get to and I have to stop him – all the time. But it pales in comparison to what you must be going through with four DD’s. Thanks for sharing your vent. I hope it helped.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kat says:

      Hi James! Pets … some of the biggest interrupters around! I tend to get distracted by cute, furry things so it’s probably good that I squirrel myself into The Hole to write. I hope your dog is doing better – he looked awfully cute with the rooster/hen leg wrap.

      And yes – venting helped. Even if it was at the risk of showing how insane I can be. =)


  3. rmlenzi says:

    This could be part of a novel! Like James said – so well-written and so vivid, I can visualize all of this unfolding.

    As for interruptions … I make a point not to write around family members or friends. If the urge hits me, I go into an empty room in the house (or the bathroom of a coffee shop/restaurant) with a notepad and scribble something out … until someone interrupts me. The worst is when I’m driving and a thought comes to me. I have to consciously repeat it over and over until I can write it down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kat says:

      YES! I’ve had that happen in the car, too. And I’ve totally lost the thought… :/ I’ve done the same thing, repeating over and over. But sometimes I forget by the time I get to a stop and get to write it down.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂 Here’s to uninterrupted writing!


  4. amariesilver says:

    This week my interruptions have been due to my kids puking on me and the needs of my business pulling me away from my work. You are solo not alone! And, as I’m typing this up I’m relocating the sugar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kat says:

      Ugh. Sorry about the puke. And being pulled in different directions. Word to the wise – put the sugar very, very high. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. S.K. Lamont says:

    I am constantly interrupted when I try and do anything, it’s like the kid’s radar goes up. Then they come and fight just outside of my room, for some reason. I know that scary quiet voice, all to well!
    My little one just turned two in December, and we put the tree down early this year, for the first time ever! The whole month of December was accompanied with the cries “mooom baby broke another bauble.” Yesterday he picked up my tea cup and smashed it on the kitchen floor! Out of five kids, I’ve never had one that likes to smash things quite so much :/ I could go on, but you’re definitely not alone, thanks for sharing and letting us other moms know, we’re not alone either!


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