Thursday, February 28, 2008

I’m Behind Schedule – AGAIN!!

I know it must be my fault I keep falling behind in my writing. My goal is to write 2,000 words a day, or roughly 8 pages, but some days I’m lucky to turn out even one or two decent pages.

The underlying problem is that I’m easily distracted. The darn phone is one of the main culprits. I screen the calls, but can’t not answer if it’s my husband or one of our kids. I finally got Caller ID so I could get rid of all the irritating “buy this”, or “you can’t live without this”, or “you’re cruel if you don’t donate to that” calls. But family – those I have to answer. And we have a lot of family!

And don’t get me started on the Internet and email! My agent, my editor, my publicist, my screenwriting partner, LA producers, all correspond via email. So do friends across the country and even those down the street, next for that matter. I constantly ask myself why I feel compelled to check my email every ten minutes? Would the world come to a screeching halt if I didn’t check for half an hour say? Or what about an hour? Could I survive a whole hour without opening that cyberspace mailbox?

Sometimes I put on my Bose over-the-ear headphones my husband gave me a couple of years ago, and pretend I live on the edge of nowhere with no one around to interrupt me. Unfortunately, audio silence doesn’t prevent my damn fingers from giving into temptation and logging onto my online mailbox. (Do you suppose Bose will ever come out with fingerphones??)

Actually, I think I use email as an excuse to postpone writing the next scene, or figuring out where to place that really important clue that I don’t want anyone to recognize as a clue until the end of the book. Of course it’s only postponing the inevitable, and I know I’ll have to pay the price later that night if I want to get anywhere near my words for the day goal.

For awhile a friend who owned the house next door let me use one of his empty rooms as my office, while he fixed the place up to sell. That was the best office I ever had in my life! No phone, no TV, no refrigerator stocked with yummy temptations begging to be eaten. Every day I was astonished by how many pages I wrote. Ten, twelve, sometimes even twenty or more. Unbelievable! Writing there was so great, that I half-jokingly approached my husband about the possibility of buying the house so I could continue to work there. He just shook his head and regarded me with that all too familiar look of amazement and said that would be one hell of an expensive office! Needless to say, he didn’t make a bid on the house.

Yeah, I know I have no one to blame but myself when I fall behind schedule with my book. I think my belated New Year’s resolution is to let the phone pick up messages, and to check my email only four or five times a day, tops! Surely that’s enough, isn’t it? Oh, lord, I’m already weakening! That blasted mailbox is just too damn addicting!

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