I tried to come up with a quick short story to post today for the first Writing 101 challenge. I’m really excited to be participating in another Blogging University event, especially one that’s geared toward writing! Normally all I have to do is just look out the window for just a whisper of an idea, and then I’m off, my hand (and pen) gliding swiftly over the page, seemingly of their own volition.
But not today.
For whatever reason, I’m unable to concentrate today. The only thing to be heard at the moment is the song “Frankenstein” by the Edgar Winter Group, which is currently blaring from the office radio. Soon enough, it will be something else, something which is sure to be be equally distracting. I mean, it’s a good song, but when I’m trying to focus on characters and setting and plot, it’s too…much. Too loud, too rhythmic, too pervasive.
And then there’s “Purple Rain,” which has now replaced “Frankenstein” on the radio. I hate “Purple Rain.” It’s so repetitive and it grates on my nerves. I guess I’m just not a Prince fan, even though “Raspberry Beret” is an okay song, especially when compared to “Purple Rain.” And I do have to smile every time I hear “Kiss,” which, for me, is inextricably linked to bubble baths and Julia Roberts.
If I were here alone today, I wouldn’t have this problem because the radio would be off. If I had my tablet here, I might put Pandora on, but it’s at home. I have a bunch of instrumental stations on Pandora that are perfect for writing because they’re so much less intrusive and generally more calming, and I’m usually in need of calming.
Then I thought about trying a prompt. I figured that if the clouds drifting by and the flower baskets dancing in the wind outside my window couldn’t inspire me, perhaps WordPress could. Except my internet has been on the fritz all day, being stupidly slow and generally uncooperative. Apparently it knows it’s Monday.
I hate to think what my already slow service at home will be like tonight. Not that I’ll be doing any writing there, either – even if I weren’t going to a movie, the distractions at home are legion.
When I was younger, I could read and write through anything – no distraction was so great that it couldn’t be overcome. But now? Now I require absolute silence to write, and especially to edit. Low levels of noise don’t bother me as much when reading, probably from all those years of reading on the school bus and in the lunch room and during pickleball tournaments, but unless the kids are asleep, the ambient noise level in my house is usually too high for reading even the most engaging books.
I wonder why that is. Too much time spent multi-tasking, perhaps? Too much worrying over what new ways the boys have found to get into trouble or injure themselves? An inability to relax, let go, just breathe?
Chances are good it’s probably some combination of those things. The boys are usually up to something, especially Thumper. He’s my troublesome child.
Maybe in a few years, when the boys go off to school, my poor tired brain will catch a break (even as my already-overworked calendar suffers more). A girl can hope, right?
Hey, look at that – I managed to write a post despite the distractions from Billy Joel and the Rolling Stones! Yay! Now, I wonder if it’s coherent…
(c) 2014. All rights reserved.