Yesterday a friend tweeted that she'd finished a novella she'd been working on. At first, I was all YAY! Go You! Then, I realized she'd only been working on it for, maybe, two weeks.
HOLY SPEED WRITER BATMAN! MY HERO!
I asked how she did it so I could emulate and be a speed writer, too.
Tip #1: Ignore everyone until they get it and go away.
That sounded easy enough. I set off right away to give it a whirl, rubbing my hands together with glee because my speed writer future looked gloriously bright.
I made sure my kids had everything they needed and put on my "Mommy's working and ignoring you" face. Here's what happened:
1. My son located a bottle of lotion in a bathroom drawer. He promptly squeezed out half the contents and rubbed it in his hair.
The lotion was just too much to simply wipe off so I had no choice but to proclaim ten in the morning bath time. Got that handled and resettled the kids.
2. Back to writing. Darling daughter calls me from the hallway, a hint of delight in her voice telling me her brother is being naughty and she can't wait to see him get in trouble. Darling son had, apparently, snatched the coffee container from kitchen counter and dumped all the grounds onto the carpet outside his bedroom. I found him tossing fistfuls gleefully into the air.
No choice but to pause writing again and vacuum. Also had to wipe son down to make sure no coffee grounds remained on him, scared that they'd somehow soak into his skin and he'd be awake for 4 1/2 days.
3. Back to writing. Son (yes, him again) breaks the rule of not opening sliding glass door. Sliding glass door does not shut/latch properly without extreme effort and it's Arctic-cold outside. Both kids are joyous--they're using their fingers to dig in the snow on the deck and slide mini icebergs into the house.
I have to put on my freak-out face because we'd gone over this sliding glass door nonsense not even 24 hours prior. After both kids have been sufficiently lectured and punished, I spend a frustrating amount of time attempting to latch the door while sliding on the wet floor. I almost killed myself at one point so I decided drying the floor first would be best.
4. Floor dry, sliding glass door latched, I sit back down. The next hour was full of the worst kind of mental torture a writer can endure. "Mommy, Bo hit me." "Mommy, I'm thirsty." "Mommy, I'm bored." "Mommy...!"
By this point my lips are unexplainably numb, I'm drooling, and I've developed a nervous twitch in my left eye. I give up on writing and announce to my children that Mommy is going to vacuum.
The vacuum cleaner is like performing an exorcism. I plug it in, flip the switch, and the precious little heathens sit on the couch in blissful silence as I electronically suck the sanity back into the house.
It took three hours to lose sight of my speed writing dream. Maybe I'll try again in a couple years. Until then, call me slow poke.
Lesson: What works for one writer does not necessarily work for another.