One of the foxes asked, “What one thing would you change about yourself as an author?”
I don’t think I’d change anything about what I write, but I think I’d change HOW I write. As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to get sidetracked easily. I’ll sit down to write, and then I’ll get a notification for a text, email, or other type of message. And I’ll respond, because I hate to have people waiting for me. Or I’ll have to do some research or look for information to respond. Or I’ll remember that I have school papers to grade. An hour or two later, I’ll find myself going back to my WIP (work in progress). I’ll have to re-read what I started so I can find out where I left off.
A few minutes later, hubby will call me from the other room, asking what’s for lunch. I’ll get up, walk past him in the family room and go to the kitchen, look in the refrigerator, and tell him what we have available. He’ll decide nothing is appealing to him and ask if I want to go out for lunch. I can either go with him and lose more time, or say no and get back to work.
After I sit back down, either after lunch or after my verbal spar with hubby, I’ll write a word or two and then discover I need to answer nature’s call. Or I’ll fix myself a snack. And then I’ll spend time trying to get back into the story. Until another distraction pops up.
So now, several hours have gone by and I’ve been staring at the computer screen, wondering how I’m going to reach my word count goal for the hour/day/week/month. And my head is starting to ache from staring at the screen. I need to do something different. I’ll remember one of my many craft projects and sit down at my sewing machine or serger, or I’ll pull out my paper and card making supplies, or I’ll take out my oboe and practice a difficult passage for an upcoming concert.
Then it’s time for dinner. Hubby usually eats an hour before I do, and if he cooks, he’ll take care of the meat and some sort of starch. Vegetables don’t appear on his menus except when chopped up and mixed in with the meat, so I’ll have to fix one for myself. And then I’ll get the dishes cleaned up and put away just in time to watch my evening shows (Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy). If I don’t have a rehearsal, I’ll work on getting my paraphernalia ready for the next day while bemoaning my lack of writing progress and promise myself I’ll do better the next day.
If I could completely control my way of working, I would seclude myself in a place with a nice ergonomic chair so that my back doesn’t ache, in an office where none of my craft projects are calling me. I would have staff to take care of my laundry, meals, clean up and scheduling. My stylist would take care of my appearance, and my personal assistant would ensure that no outside distractions would intrude on my creative space and time.
I don’t expect to ever achieve this lifestyle. Frankly, I’m not sure I’d want to. I get satisfaction from being able to take care of things myself, though I’d happily give some things up. But to answer Elaine’s original question, I’ll say that if I could change something about myself as an author, it would be to have the ability to shut out the rest of the world so that I can focus on telling a great story.