As I am writing this, I can hear my son’s alarm going off. It’s been going off for almost half an hour and he hasn’t woken up yet. What's more, it’s not a normal alarm. It’s the opening eight measure of “Down With The Sickness” by Disturbed.
Do you know how many times the opening eight bars of “Down With The Sickness” can repeat in thirty minutes? Me neither but it’s a lot. And it’s just one of the distractions I will face before I finish writing this post.
In the time before coronavirus, I was a part-time freelance writer who worked entirely from home. That is still my job description but now my home feels more like a busy office with several demanding co-workers around all the time.
My husband used to go to work all day and my kids went to school. It was just me and the dog in a silent house from 9am-3pm. I could go hours without speaking to anyone. Being wordless allowed me to channel my words to my keyboard instead. Everything I wanted to say could be said in 12-point type on a screen. It wasn’t used up in conversation. The thoughts and ideas that jumped into my head went straight to my computer as essays and blog posts, instead of the more ephemeral thought expenditures of talking to people.
I didn’t realize it at the time but I had come to rely on solitude as part of my writing process.
These days, I sit down to write and have to battle my way through the opening eight bars of “Down With The Sickness” blaring in the background. Then I have to call out to my son to turn off his alarm. That reminds my daughter that I am here and she comes to ask me one of the pressing questions that bounce around her eight-year-old mind all day long. Next, the dog will start asking to go for a walk and I will tell my husband to pay attention to her and the next thing you know, every word that I planned to write is hanging in the air of my home, used on my family instead of cocooned into the creative outlet my writer brain craves.
In the seven months since my family joined me at working from home, I have had to adapt my working style in order to work at all. Through lots of trial and error, I have found a few ways to elbow my way past the interruptions and get some writing done.
- First, I got a Trello account and downloaded…