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Writer’s lament

A few weeks ago, David published an article on the Notebook that asked, “What is your most productive writing environment?”

I was thinking about the question today as I looked at the to-do list:

  • complete a couple of editing projects
  • file an article on eco-tourism destinations for an in-flight magazine
  • finish writing the U’s continuing ed course on interviewing
  • bang out four mini book reviews
  • schedule the training for a couple of interns

The question seemed like a taunt as the 2 pm show on NPR nattered on about the year’s best music, and the phone rang, and the Blackberry kept buzzing, and neighbors were screaming in the hallway.

“I just need a solid two hours of quiet,” I thought.

I don’t know any writer who has the kind of still solitude that so many of us crave. Sarah’s writing is punctuated by her dogs’ peeing on the balcony, a sign it’s time to push away from the keyboard and take a walk. David catches snatches of note-making time while tending to the nenas, both of whom are sick. Hal squeezes in some time to write while packing and moving on, Carlo while working on renovating his campervan, packing up his life in Oz, and getting ready for an epic cycling trip around Cuba.

Do I want the two hours of quiet?

Yes.

But I also realize that I wouldn’t really have anything to write about at all–and neither would the writers whose work I love most–if they didn’t have the swirl of sound and activity from the people they love and the plans they have always moving around them.

And that’s ok.

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2 responses »

  1. Woh, you could get all that done in a quiet two hours? Impressive!

    So true Julie. It’s all part of the experience isn’t it.

    Reply

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