Writing, Distractions, & My Cat

Working with Distractions.

I’d like to say that I have this one figured out, when in truth, I really do not.

Take right now, for instance: I’m trying to write out my thoughts about working with distractions, all the while my senior cat of almost eight years old is vying for my attention: She bats at my butt which is firmly seated in the chair from below, her claws sometime making contact with skin. “Ouch!” I yell out, trying to keep my voice down but not ignoring the pain.

It is nearing the end of July as I write this; her fur is everywhere around the office, blowing every which way what with the window open.  It’s at this moment that I am thankful for allergy medicine. Without it, I wouldn’t have cats.

She jumps up on the windowsill to get closer to my eye level and contemplates jumping onto my lap were it not for my hand keeping her at bay. She runs across the desk as I try to type, spilling papers that were once previously on the desk into a state of disarray on the floor, their order no more.

She wants attention. I want to write.

I do not have children.  My cat is the closest thing to that that I have.  I know, in theory, that were this a child, the best thing for me to do would be to carve out time for my son or daughter because these moments are precious, and few.  But with a cat?  What does one do when a cat wants your attention and you want to work?

I open the window as wide as possible, the cool morning air quickly taking over the room.  My cat is suddenly distracted by breeze, the way the leaves on the tree outside of the window move, and the sound of birds chirping somewhere off in the distance.

Finally, a moment where we are both content.

At that very moment, I think of everything I should be doing before I begin writing.  Suddenly, that pile of dirty laundry that has been on the floor for the better part of the week seems so important, the remaining clean clothes that you have in the hamper you have been picking clothes to wear each day out of suddenly needs my attention because, let’s face it, I shouldn’t really be living out of my hamper, anyway.

There will always be something.  At least, so it seems to me.

For me, the best thing that I can do is write whenever I can, for as long as I can.  There will be days that I only manage to muster a hundred words or so, but you know what? I showed up.

There will be days where celebrations burst forth from the heavens because that short story I was working on? I managed to make major headway on.  There will also be days in November when, tempting fate yet again, I take on another year of NaNoWriMo and successfully get in over two thousand words on a day where I could have easily been distracted by something that at the time, seemed more important than writing.

For me, at the end of the day, if I can say that I showed up at some point during the day (the time always varies), put the words that I had to offer that day down on paper, then it is successful day.

Nothing else seems to matter.

Traveling mercies,
jdh

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