It seems all writers have trouble making time to write. Well the only writers I know who don’t have a problem with family interruptions either write full time or don’t have family living with them! The typical thing in our house is that I start writing, my 8-year-old son comes and asks me something quick – “Mummy, where’s my sword?” – which breaks my chain of thought. Then my husband comes to chase our son away, and starts a much longer conversation himself.
At this point I usually call my son to chase away my husband, which makes them both laugh and gets me some more peace.
One technique which works quite well (in my family at least) is to ask for a specific amount of time to achieve a specific writing goal. Last November I signed up for Nanowrimo, where you try to write 50,000 words of a novel in the calendar month of November. That’s 1,667 words a day on average. Well I explained what I was doing to my family, and the interruption really dropped. Or I might tell my son I have to read some proofs urgently, and he’ll generally give me an hour’s peace. This wouldn’t have worked when he was three! It helps if you give them our attention when you’ve finished, and say thank you.
Having a laptop also helps. I take my son to the park, and I write while he runs about. But somehow I don’t think your wife wants a go on the swings.
If you find any other techniques, please, please let me know!
© Sheila Crosby 2005