All By Myself…
The title of this post, by the way, is an occurrence that requires a certain amount of planning in my life. I either have to leave the house or go into my office or bedroom, make sure that the room is cat-free, then close the door. Frex, as I type this downstairs while taking a break from making a batch of Holiday Leftover Chelsea Buns (truly the best way to use up leftover turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, thank you Paul Hollywood), I have a large orange cat sitting on my left doing his absolute best to use my wrist as a headrest.
Sorry, Jeremy. You can rest your head later. Right now, Mommy needs to blog.
Solitude is probably one of the greatest boons a writer can get, and one of the most difficult to obtain. If you have a spouse, kids, pets, parents who live with you, or other individuals who want a claim on your time, it can be hard to find a gentle way to tell them to bugger off, you’re working. It’s even harder when the individual thinks you’re just goofing off with this whole writing hobby and should be spending more time with them (glares balefully at the J Crew).
A good friend of mine who’s also a writer has an elderly parent living with her and the parent wants Friend to be surgically attached to their side at all times. Driving to various appointments, watching TV shows that Friend is not interested in, making meals and cleaning up, basically turning Friend into a satellite around their parental self. I know this sounds horrible but if that was me I would either be screaming regularly or gulping handfuls of Valium.
Which just makes me that much more grateful for Ramón. When I fixed the lock on my office door a few weeks ago and started using it while writing (mainly to keep the cats out) I was worried that Ramón might be hurt that I was locking him out as well.
When I asked him about it, he gave me a quizzical look and said, “Petal, I figure if you’re in your office and the door is locked, you’re hip deep in a story and don’t want to be bothered. Usually when I come in to talk to you I just want to vent about what’s happening at work or give you a drive-by kiss. I can always do that later once you’re finished. If it’s something really important, like the house is on fire, don’t worry—I’ll knock.”
This is one of the many, many reasons why we are going on our thirtieth year of marriage, by the way.
I think what I’m trying to say here is, if you live with or know a writer, one of the greatest gifts you can give them is alone time. Cook dinner, take care of the kids, watch TV by yourself, and give them an hour or two to bang on the keyboard in peace.
Unlike Jeremy, who is bound and determined for me to act as headrest. Fine, come here, you big lug…