How We Work

My friend Angie and I were just discussing this, and I thought it was interesting enough to blog about.

Her hubby is home sick today, and felt well enough to come downstairs and turn on the television, which of course she found incredibly disruptive since she’s an editor and likes to work without distraction, and a movie on t.v. is incredibly distracting when you’re trying to edit a book or answer emails.

Not that I’m deliberately picking on her hubby. Mine does the same thing to me. He might not turn on the tv, but if he’s home and I’m working, his mere presence is distracting (sorry, darlin’. Not your fault. :giggle: )

I think it’s because our ‘people’ (our people being husbands, wives, partners, significant others, children, friends, etc.) don’t really understand what it is that we do and how exactly we do it.

For example, when I’m working on a book, or a proposal for a book, every second of my time is not hands on the keyboard typing away. A lot of it is staring out the window or staring off into space. To my husband, that means I’m either done or not working. Um….no. It means I’m working out a difficult plot point, trying to figure out where to go next in the scene I’m writing, trying to figure out exactly how to start the next scene, trying to choreograph a love scene, or working out dialogue in my head. Or I’m devleoping a proposal for a one/two/three book series, and thinking about plot threads. So ‘thinking’ means staring off into space. My brain is working…my fingers might not be.

Sometimes I’ll step away from the laptop entirely, go sit down or even lay down on the couch. Not to turn on the tv, but just to change the environment. I find it really helps to clear my head. That’s when I tend to figure out a problem in my book. Again, I’m not taking a nap–I’m working. (Well, unless I fall asleep…then I’m taking a nap :giggle: ).

Sometimes I’ll get bogged down in what I’m writing, or it’s not going the way I want it to, so I’ll switch off and check email or blogs or go to a website. Just a minute or two of clearing my head really helps. Then it’s back to the book. I also have severe writer ADD. I can’t write all day long without a break. I’m constantly switching from book to email to blogs to IM to Twitter to book to email to blogs to IM to Twitter to book. Hey, it works for me. And it’s probably because I do this alone. It’s nice to stop every few minutes and remind myself that there are other people out there.

However, the mere presence of another person physically present in my ‘working environment’ tends to disrupt my routine, because I feel like I need to be ‘typing’ the entire time to prove my productivity. It’s very disconcerting and annoying as hell. I know I work all day. It’s just not work that can be seen all the time.

I know, weird huh? At least Angie understands me :doglick: