But I have nothing to show for it
I read a lot of articles about focus and about setting aside clear hours to write. I fully intend to get into that habit. Someday. Hopefully within this lifetime.
I truly envy people who churn out reams and reams of content. Those writers who stick by their schedules. Writers who don’t need somebody else to set deadlines for them. When I grow up, I want to be like that!
But for now, this is how my focused writing time looked.
I sat down at my designated spot at the dining table. That’s my writing space. I sit on the highway at home. That’s my top excuse for lack of focus.
Using the idea notebook
I opened my idea notebook and sifted idly through it. Somewhere along the way, I caught myself thinking about a conversation with a friend. I don’t know how that popped in, but I had skimmed through several pages of ideas while I ruminated over that conversation. I don’t know what amazing ideas I skipped past inadvertently.
Poetry to the rescue
I decided to write a poem. It has been a while. Maybe I could write about the beautiful rose that has bloomed on my mother-in-law’s (MIL) balcony. I had to get a few photos for the cover image. I ambled over to the MIL’s house, clicked some pics, discussed how lovely the rose was, and came back to get started in earnest on the poem.
A book can’t be ignored
Ding dong. Or something like that since my doorbell has a life of its own. It was the Amazon delivery guy. He practically lives in my house considering how often he shows up. He had brought a book I had been waiting for — Range by David Epstein. A fresh book cannot be ignored. I opened it, admired the cover design, smelled the pages (yup, confirmed case of bibliosmia), and scanned the contents. Mistake. The title of the first chapter caught my eye — Roger Vs Tiger. Clearly, it was going to talk about those sporting greats, Roger Federer and Tiger Woods. I am no sports buff. But there was some draw in a title like that. I marveled at the wonderful hook that David Epstein had created and proceeded to read the chapter.
I was two pages in when the husband passed by. I stopped him and read out a paragraph that I had just read and enjoyed a lot. I don’t know where he was headed (loo, maybe?) but he forgot all about it at the end of the impromptu book reading and went right back to his room.
Those pesky e-mails
I realized that I hadn’t written a single word yet. I tried, but it was too late to write about that beautiful rose now. The moment of inspiration had passed. Once again, I found myself wondering what to write about. Meanwhile, unknown to my brain, my hand was idly scrolling through e-mail. I found an e-mail that promised amazing tricks to sell one’s books. I HAD to check it out. I opened the e-mail and started skimming. Who reads any of this in detail in any case. I clicked on a few links and after some time completely lost track of what I was trying to do.
Two hours later
It took me 5 minutes to close all irrelevant tabs, and find the new story page that I had opened 2 hours ago. I found the word ‘gulabi’ written on that page. For the life of me, I could not figure out why I wrote that. Wait! Gulabi means rose in Kannada. Maybe I had some idea about the title when I decided to write a poem about that home-grown rose? I guess I will never know.
By then, it was time for my daughter’s classes to end for the day. She bounced out of her room bursting to tell me all about the day’s hilarious incidents. I closed my laptop. She gets (for the most part) undivided attention when she comes along to narrate her school stories.
Maybe I can write a book about the life and times of online educated kids? I’ll start on it tomorrow. For sure.