Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I would like to lay my case before you. While I will undoubtedly be found guilty of spending nearly three hours of writing time without producing a single word, it must be understood that I had no choice in the matter. I found myself up against a cunning adversary.
My youngest brother. Now, he may look innocent, harmless, cute even – but there is a dangerous mind under that hair, and he uses it to render people helpless through laughter.
Yes, for nearly those entire three hours, I was doubled over laughing at my little brother while he did crazy dances and told crazier jokes.
I’m going to be serious now, and talk about writing distractions. For me and my writing, the biggest distraction is my family. I am completely surrounded and constantly bombarded by them. There is no safe place. Everywhere I turn, there they are – in my room, in my bed, in my face.
After years of unsuccessfully trying to sell them on eBay, I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible. I will be stuck with my family forever. And unless I want to be distracted from writing forever, then I’d better find a way to work around or with them.
As much as I love my youngest brother, the seven-year-old Darius, he is dangerous. When he comes into my room, I’m sitting at my computer, working diligently. The next thing I know, we’re playing tag in the hallway. How did I get there? I won’t even remember. Asking him nicely to leave me alone is impossible, because he’s seven, and he’s Darius, and he’ll be back in five seconds.
The rest of my siblings, as well as my parents, pose equally dangerous threats – minus the playing tag in the hall part. I’m still figuring out this whole balancing serious writing with my family thing, but I think I’m getting good at it. I’ve gotten some good weapons in my arsenal.
First, headphones. I’m not talking the little ear buds that came with your iPod. I’m talking mega-duty, noise-canceling headphones from Sony. I put them on, turn my music up loud, and I am effectively shut off from the world.
Yes, that’s why my parents don’t like them. But I let people know when I’m putting them on, and tell them to wave at me if they really need my attention. With my headphones, I can sit at the dining room table, which is the center of my house, and write completely un-distracted. I don’t even notice when people come in the room.
Second, the television. That sounds like a distraction in and of itself, and it is – for the younger kids. If I put a movie on the fifty-inch for my younger siblings and tell them not to move, they won’t. And I can sit in the back of the room (just make sure it’s not a movie that I like!), and watch them and write on my computer at the same time.
And, when all else fails, HIDE!
Lay on your stomach under the bed, sit in the laundry room on the dryer, lock yourself in the bathroom, go outside and sit in your car, or any car, whatever! Just don’t let them find you until you’re done writing!