Distracted? Who, me?

I’m sitting here at the computer with the entire family home again for a snow day, typing in edits, and I’m trying to think about dream writing retreats.

Would I want something cold and snowy like it is right now, so I’m not even vaguely tempted to go outside for a walk instead of sitting down and writing? Or a mild, sunny day with low humidity, where I can sit outside in a fresh breeze, jotting words in my notebook and staring off into the distance as I work out the next snippet of dialogue?

Something quiet, with few distractions. I can — and do — work with others in the house, even with electronics and movies and music (often multiple sources) in the background. I write with interruptions from the mailman who has a package for me, from the dog who needs to go out (or come back in), from the birds at the bird feeder who are just begging to have their pictures taken. I write longhand, I write in Word, and I write in Scrivener.

But I get more done if I don’t have those distractions. It’s one of many reasons I do occasionally like to stay up and write late at night. I even check out fewer online distractions at night.

On the other hand, I also like to chat (online usually) and even do word wars when I’m writing. So pure isolation isn’t going to do it for me.

My ideal? Would probably be to be able to spend a week or two being night-owl me, napping during the day, with someone else online at the same time for at least part of the time to help me get over the inertia that slows me at the beginning of a project. Maybe I’ll even try that at some point in April or May, while the kids are still in school (because once they’re home for the summer, napping during the day isn’t going to be an option).

I’m grateful that I can work without ideal conditions. I’m grateful that I can even consider testing this to see if what I think is ideal actually will work for me. And I’m grateful that I have a family that can hang out at home that still lets me get stuff done.

Oh, and I’m grateful that we’re all at home safe and sound, rather than being out on those oh-so-slippery roads today! We got snow last night, followed by freezing rain in the wee hours, and then slush falling on top of that this morning. (Yes, actual slush — it wasn’t really rain, and it wasn’t really snow, but it had the consistency of a Slurpee/Icee/whatever your flavored ice drink preference is.)

Have you thought about your best conditions for work?

Today’s post was inspired by the topic “dream writing retreat” — February’s topic in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour — an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to check out the next posts in the series, by Sandra Barret and D. M. Bonanno.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out their thoughts on first stories, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. You can find links to all of the posts on the tour by checking out the group site. Read and enjoy!

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  1. The intersection of life and reality…

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