[testimonial1_arial author=”Rocky Balboa]“But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” ”[/testimonial1_arial]
Standing in the way of my book, is an interrupter, frustration and writers block
Lots of people write about writers block or about things that stop their flow of thought. Despite understanding a lot about the psychology of writing and subconscious blocks, I sometimes wonder what is deep at the heart of not writing. This led me to consider my blocks and occasional lack of motivation.
The biggest writers’ block that affects me, comes from sheer frustration at being interrupted by the deadly time robbers. Thieves of time, the most wretched of them all.
Let me share my sorry tale
I live with an interrupter, who comes from a long line of interrupters. In their land, they are kings and queens and nobody disobeys the rulers. To do so would be quite wrong and very possibly call for a beheading.
How did I fall into such a curious place, peopled by ‘people’ who run the show, demanding to be heard, rule the roost and who have cloth for ears, for didn’t I tell you the land they rule is Clothland?
Who are these people?
The people of Clothland are people who on a subconscious level has a habit of interrupting. They suffer from disruptive interrupting. Prince Charmin (my prince) has a habit of not only interrupting me when I am writing, but he disruptively interrupts other people’s beliefs by teasing them. Yet he lives unaware that his taunts upset others, or maybe he does and just lives off the buzz?
Understanding Prince Charmin
Quite simply I don’t. Understand that is, how, when the Prince sees Cinders with her fingers on a keyboard looking like she is writing, he doesn’t realise that she is writing and in full flow. Why then would an interrupter think you were doing something else?
A princely tale
Prince Charmin is of course, is ready with the excuses and princely waffle, for he didn’t get to be a prince, without a few warring tactics, clever diversions and majorly strategies. He declares from his throne ‘Your office, the sun house, that distant field is for writing, not the bedroom or sofa and certainly not in this house.’
Over the years the Prince had noticed poor Cinders writing in a variety of places, chasing her off, he gave his goodly advice:-
- Writing on the sofa, is an open invitation to be interrupted, go somewhere else.
- Write in bed and I will come to bed early and want the light out, write in another room.
- Go to your office and close the door if you want some peace, but I shall still come in.
- Write between 10 and midnight or 4am and 6am, but be warned I shall still want you full of energy for the tasks I have allotted you.
And then alas and alack his old Queen came to live at Clothland Castle too. ‘Where is my tea, my biscuits, breakfast, lunch and dinner too?’ She shouted loudly from her throne, above the din of radio 2.
He said again with his Princely charm ‘go and work somewhere else, you will be fine’. Cinders made appointments to go and view some rented space. It’s not what she wants, it makes her feel corporate, it is too structured, too 9-5 and no longer spontaneous. Hotels are out, as now she has come to hate noise, of any kind.
Poor Cinders, she had asked nicely for peace and for space. When none was forthcoming and at the end of her tether, she cried ‘I am going to jump off a cliff, I cannot take anymore.’
So what is it about interrupting?
Well of course listening is probably the problem, they don’t listen. All the while their minds are raging against the machine, cogs whirring, engines revving to think of their next witty retort. They don’t mean to do it, it’s like a twitch, it just happens. What kind of twitch is it?
I’m the boss (or should that be tyrant)
This twitching interrupter, is determined to show you that they are the boss. I’m in charge and you will take notice of me. So off you go and make yourself useful and make dinner, a cup of tea or maybe wash up.
I am more important that you
This twitching interrupter, is determined to let you know that they are more important than you and you must stop and watch them prancing around in their new crown at bedtime.
I am better than you
This twitching interrupter is actually in awe of you and wants to stop you doing your work, so that they can say ‘see I told you, you are no good at this, I am better than you, I am the Prince’.
The attention grabber
This twitching interrupter just wants to be noticed, right now, I said ‘right now!’
Even the nicest, kindest most caring person is an interrupter, remember, this is deep in their subconscious, so, they are probably not rude by nature, but possibly by nurture.
I believe that there is a psychological need to be seen as in charge, powerful, the one in the driving seat and to be heard. I came from a generation where my dad used to say ‘children should be seen and not heard’. I am guessing, that their need to be heard comes from childhood. All our shit does, doesn’t it? Their parents didn’t hear them or let them speak, so now they can’t stop themselves. Or can they?
Want to stop interrupting a writer?
It’s not easy but it can be done.
Think back to your school days; remember physics and that thing about motion. If it is in motion, it tends to stay in motion. Equate that to a thought train that writers employ, if you keep interrupting, it will take them longer to get to their destination.
- Recognise that you are one, an interrupter, that is.
- Just bloody stop.
- Put your hand over your mouth when that annoying urge takes you.
- Pay attention to what is going on.
- Ask yourself is your interruption both urgent and important?
- Allow the other person to stop what they are writing, then they can give you, your attention, without frustation.
- Think of the impact of your actions.
- Go on a body language course, you will learn a lot from noticing the language of a writer in motion.
Now don’t get me wrong, I interrupt… conversations.
We are chatting, something is sparked and I might say ‘me too’ or ‘wow, how funny’. But that is a conversation and not what we are talking about here.
And before any clever coaches say – you make a choice to be interrupted – don’t even go there, that is utter rubbish!
Don’t tell me to manage my time better, use another space, or write at some ungodly hour. Don’t tell me anything; I have tried.
A wise person once said you were given two eyes and one mouth, use them in that proportion.
[testimonial1_arial author=”Mahatma Gandhi”]“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”[/testimonial1_arial]
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