Excuse Me, I'm WRITE-ing
I have sometimes been a cranky writer.
"I'm writing," I say when my daughter interrupts. I put special emphasis on the word writing, and extra-special emphasis on the first syllable.
I think I do this because when I draw out the wr sound, it's an act of verbal wringing. I want to wring the interruption right out of my day.
Okay, the truth is I was a cranky writer as lately as Saturday, when working on my Barbie poem. My Littlest became very insistent when I was smack in the middle of what felt like my best thoughts. I had to stop in the "boys" section and attend to her. I felt irritated, and I even gave her a mini talk on how it's unkind to interrupt people's creative processes. It can take away their thoughts.
There is a place for drawing boundaries around our moments. Still, I think Julia Cameron is right. Interruptions will not ruin us. They will not wring our thoughts out of us, ruin our poem or chapter. Do we really think our ideas are so superficial as to disappear that easily?
If I'm honest with myself, I know my daughter cannot steal my thoughts; they rise from deep places. So why did I give her the mini-talk? It's because my pleasure had been interrupted, and that felt uncomfortable. That is the more precise reason, and it moves away from blame.
Somehow it seems important to try to be more precise and, instead of blaming, say, "I felt sad to stop writing my poem, because I was having so much fun." It is the real reason for my irritation. After all, as a seasoned writer I've been interrupted over and again, and it never stopped me from finally getting my words on the page.
As it turned out, my Barbie poem went where it needed to go. Even with a 45-minute detour between lines three and four. Maybe even because of the 45-minute detour (special emphasis on the word because :)
Pea Flower photo by L.L. Barkat.