I’ve hardly touched my novel this week, either.
I’ve hardly paid attention to my children.
I’ve hardly eaten.
All because I decided it would be a fantastic idea to play around with another craft.
I remember Martine Leavitt telling us in a weeklong workshop that writing novels is an exclusive craft — exclusive in that you pretty much have to eliminate everything else from your life except family and work. She even mentioned ditching your morning date with the newspaper or the internet if that’s what distracted you from writing.
Most of the time, I’m good at that. I’m home with my kids all day, I have my part-time job two evenings a week teaching composition, and then I have writing. When my life revolves around those three things, I’m pretty well balanced. I even fit in blog posts, since I consider those part of writing.
But when I get insane ideas in my head that start with “Well, the room is already painted green, so a jungle theme would work well for the baby” and morph into “In fact, I could create the bedding myself,” that’s when my life spins out of control.
Because now I’m 37.5 weeks into this pregnancy, I have 5 days until fall semester starts, and I’ve spent 40 hours this week hunched over a sewing machine and the bumper is still not done.
I’ve learned a lot about applique (i.e. satin stitching around the edges of cut-out fabric shapes), a lot about how to troubleshoot problems on my sewing machine (it knows fifty different ways to jam up, apparently), and a lot about why Martine said what she said.
My neighbor across the street is a sewing wizard. She always has a quilting project going, or applique, or curtains, or something. And that’s her thing, so she fits it in here and there the way I fit in writing.
And the longer I sit chained to my sewing machine, knowing I need to get this finished or I will go crazy, the more I’m convinced that I need to just stick to writing. This stack of squares represents way too many hours of time I could have, should have been revising.
(But on the bright side, I’ve been composing in my head a post called “How to Applique a Novel” as I’ve taken pictures of the project. So, sometime next week there should be another one of my random analogies on the blog.)
What about you? What’s your “one” thing and what distractions sometimes derail your focus?