When I was young, I pictured the location where authors/writers did their work. It was always some variation of the following:
The recently showered and fully dressed author/writer pads down a long hallway and opens a door to their own private writing space. Clutching a mug of tea/coffee, the writer sits down at a comfortable chair located behind a highly polished, very organized mahogany desk. There is a wall of books on one wall and a window with a completely astounding view of a lake, a mountain, or a field of wildflowers.
Selecting a full pen from a drawer, the author/writer thinks for a long moment and at the precise moment inspiration hits, leans over a clean piece of paper and the words begin to flow.
Then I became a writer. Here is the reality.
On a typical day, when I’ve begged and pleaded for time to write, I can count on a minimum of five interruptions per hour. Last time I reserved a block of time to write I kept track of said interruptions for my own amusement.
6:30 AM Hubby wants to know where the flea powder is—dog is scratching
6:41 AM Hubby comes in room for some clothes
7:01 AM Hubby brings me breakfast (OK—this one is great! Love him!)
7:09 AM Powdered, yet still scratching, dog is let into the room
7:25 AM Kids come in to see if I have any bacon left and can they have it
7:36 AM Boy twin comes in for a hug
7:42 AM Hubby needs toilet paper, where are extra rolls kept?
8:08 AM Girl twin needs me to fix her hair
8:25 AM Knock at window reveals family showing ripened tomatoes
8:26 AM Boy twin can’t find toy army men… do I know where they are?
8:50 AM Girl twin wants to weigh herself
9:01 AM Hubby needs jersey to watch upcoming football game
9:17 AM Hubby wants to know if he can pull bread from freezer
And so on.
So, that is a typical block of “writing time” for me. Now, let's move on to the instruments for said writing.
My computer is ten years old, shuts off at will (usually when I haven’t saved in a while or I’m in the middle of a fantastic run of words), and is located in a peeling wood veneer cabinet that is shoved in the corner of my bedroom. My kids find everything in the cabinet fascinating and things disappear at will. (4-year-old twins find calculators, screen cleaners, coasters, my drafts, and note cards to be much fun to play with).
Sometimes I don’t use the computer. When inspiration strikes I use anything that is at hand. Some examples:
• Sticky notes (they paste so nicely to the computer monitor, don’t they?)
• Backs of envelopes
• Any kind of paper with a blank space on it anywhere
• You get the drift
As for writing utensils… our pens never have ink in them (my fault since I leave them clicked open all the time), so I’ve had to improvise at times:
• Dry erase markers
• And my personal favorite—using the tip of an empty pen to gouge the words into the paper. Trust me, if you’ve got a great flow of words coming to you this will work!
It is during these times that I try to remember it all comes down to this: How you write doesn’t matter, as long as you’re writing!