For the past two days, I’ve looked at the clock around 4 or 5 in the afternoon and thought, “What do I have to show for today?”
I sit down to write and something happens– Francisco wants to read something to me, or he asks me to make a grocery list as he’s cleaning the fridge, or Mariel wakes up from her famously brief naps. Even in writing that previous sentence, I had to get up twice to show Francisco how to do a screenshot on the Mac.
Writer’s block? Not a problem? Blocking out time to write? That is definitely a problem.
Yesterday, my friend Sylvie, also mom to a newborn, emailed and said, “How do you get so much done? Is there a third pair of hands outside the frame of the photos I’ve seen?”
No, no third pair of hands, and wow, I really just don’t feel like I get done even a third of what I’d like to do in terms of writing and editing. The to-do list never shortens, the ideas don’t stop coming, and there’s never more time… just less.
Some days, I feel prickly about all this. Why are there so many distractions? Why can’t there be quiet? If I don’t write, how will we eat? Why can’t I write one single thing other than a grocery list without having some sort of major interruption that breaks the flow?
Because that’s life. It’s not neat, not able to be ordered just around me, not able to be ordered much at all. Needs arise constantly and they have to be addressed. Saying “No, I can’t write the grocery list; do it yourself.” is not an option because, well, we’re all in this together.
It’s learning to sit with this knowledge and apply it again and again that’s the trick.
There will be some days when you get absolutely nothing done except loving your family.
And somehow, you’ve got to understand that they’re not distractions.